Sometimes we are able to experience times in this world that give us a glimpse of the joy of another world yet to come. Last Sunday night my 20 year-old son Adam and I, along with about 65,000 crazy fans, cheered on the Seahawk football team at the NFC championship game. After 30 disappointing seasons the Seahawks are finally going to the Superbowl! The joy was infectious as my son and I, two normally introverted types, were high-fiving complete strangers who were all suddenly our best friends, twirling our little towels, honking our car horn, acting just like the other fanatics.
As I came home, with ears still ringing, I began to ask myself, "What was THAT all about?" The only explanation that made sense to me was that after all the years of Seahawk's fans having their hopes dashed and experiencing repeated disappointments, their Superbowl dreams were finally coming true. Even at the beginning of this season when the Hawks were 2 and 2, the Superbowl seemed again to be out of reach. But the Seahawks then became hot and are now on their way to Detroit for Superbowl XL (40).
But to put this all in perspective, I have been a husband and father for roughly the same amount of time that the Seahawks have been trying to go to the Superbowl. I have no greater longing than to see my family and me together someday celebrating in heaven. The hope of that future joy being realized will make the happiness at Qwest field seem extremely empty and temporary.
And like the Seahawks' road to the Superbowl, the path each man must walk to lead his family to heaven is fraught with many discouragements and distractions. Over time there is a subtle temptation to become spiritually lethargic or sleepy on this all important quest. With infinitely more at stake for Christian fathers and their families than a trip to Detroit in February, we must fight through the lies that the the devil, the enemy of the family, plants within our minds. Three of the lies that can tempt fathers toward spiritual apathy are:
"Don't worry about your children's salvation. Remember that little
prayer they prayed when they were little. They're in, man!"
"Don't fight it. They have rejected your faith. They made their choice.
Just let them go and accept their decision."
"Don't worry about all that spiritual stuff with them. They are good
kids. They aren't getting into any big trouble. They don't need to be
I can think of no greater encouragement to fathers than what Paul wrote to Timothy, his spiritual son, some 2,000 years ago. " Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (I Timothy 4:16) This is life and death stuff, men! So even if we are feeling a bit down and only "2 and 2," it is time for all of us to wake up and persevere for the sake of those God has entrusted to us! There is NOTHING in this world more important to dream about and sacrifice for. God bless you on your quest. And lest I forget, Go Seahawks!