“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Mt 6:9-13
My earliest remembrances of my dad were of his love of baseball, watching the games across the street from where we lived, or sitting out on the front porch in the summer listening to the Cincinnati Reds games on the radio. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. On weekends he spent a lot of time in his garage woodworking shop, or tinkering around in our yard.
During my preteen years someone, I don’t remember who, gave me a stack of Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield magazines. I was enthralled by the stories of fishing and hunting. The desire to fish and hunt was instilled in me. I spent hours devouring stories about fishing and hunting in such places as Michigan and Minnesota.
My parents did not own a car. Everywhere we went we either walked or used public transportation.
I found a small “Pay Lake” within a couple miles from my home. You paid a small fee, a dollar and two, and wet your line. I spent my summers and weekends hooking up my fishing rods, tackle box and minnow bucket off my bike’s handlebars and riding off to Dream Valley, name of the lake, learning how to fish for catfish.
I got my father into fishing. He knew how much I loved it. I can remember him cleaning my first catfish that I caught. Neither one of us knew what we were doing…blood and entrails all over the board we were using.
I finally talked him into going fishing with me, walking with me the couple of miles to Dream Valley where I taught him how to catch catfish. I remember the walk home after a successful day at the lake, him and me sharing the load of carrying the fishing tackle and passerby’s admiring a stringer of catfish we caught.
We all have a heavenly Father in Heaven that loves each one of us more than we know. He wants, craves our love, and will do anything for us just to be with us. My earthly father knew my desires and he wanted to be with me doing the things I loved doing. They were important to me, so they were important to him.
My heavenly father sent his son, Jesus, to earth to die for my sins just so I could be with him in heaven for eternity.
Jesus said… ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.’” Jn 11:25
I asked my Dad to go fishing with me and he went. He went several times. My dad moved to Houston in the late 70s after my mom passed on. He even went with me on a charter boat fishing trip out into the Gulf. He still loved baseball, but his allegiance now became the Houston Astros. “You have to root for the hometown team,” he would say.
My father has gone home to his heavenly reward, but my heavenly Father is ever present to share of his goodness. “…if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us.”
He loves us so much he sent his son, Jesus, down to earth to die on a cross for us. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Pe 2:24
He wants us to be with us for eternity even if we have done things that offended Him. All we have to do is ask Him for forgiveness and tell him we love him.
Father’s Day is over but we don’t need a special day to tell our earthly fathers and heavenly Father that we love him and can’t wait to be with them eternally. Maybe God, my dad, and I can go on some fishing trips at some of the best fishing locations ever, our heavenly Dream Valley.
Lord, thank you for my father. Please forgive me for the times I didn’t thank him and tell him I loved him enough when he was here with me. Lord, I love you, and forgive me when I don’t recognize all the good things you do for me and my family. You are still there, watching, walking with me.