I was blessed with a relationship with a loving father. Here are a few things I learned from his life, and from his death:
I learned to laugh and laugh loudly. He was always that person who laughs insanely loud in the movie theater at parts that no one else seems to find funny. I was always so embarrassed. Now, I do the same thing… If you meet my dad in heaven, feel free to tell him thanks for that. ;o)
I learned that my life is not about me. He showed me that a valuable life is one focused on serving others, for the glory of God.
I learned to love to learn. He knew much about much. He was always learning more, and he always enjoyed the process. He significantly contributed to my nerdiness.
I learned to enjoy God’s creation. He loved to take the family camping, to go hiking in the mountains, bike riding by ocean, or kite flying at the bay. I love those things too.
I learned to share the gospel and invite others to follow after Jesus. When I was 13 years old, we pulled over on the side of the road and my dad and I prayed with one of the youth from our church as she chose to give her life to Jesus. I’ve been talking to people about Jesus ever since.
I learned that miracles happen when God’s people pray. He lived less years than many, but I sincerely believe that he lived more years than he would have if people hadn’t prayed.
I learned that I am to be treasured. His eyes always told me that I was valued and adored.
I learned to love Scripture. He loved to read it, study it, and teach it. He passed that on.
I learned to choose joy. I decided before his death that if he died, joy would be my choice. It’s not always an easy choice and sometimes I fail to choose it… but those end up being really bad days… I pray that joy would come every morning.
I learned the importance of wise living. Sometimes he was wise. Sometimes he wasn’t. Being wise is always better.
I learned to appreciate each day I have. His life was 47 years long. Most of us expect to live quite a bit longer than that. He did too, but God had numbered his days to be just the right amount. I’m often reminded that I am not invincible and a day will come for my end here too. In the meantime, to live is Christ…
I learned to look forward to heaven. … to die is gain.