Excellence, Faith, Family, Influence, Purpose

Father Knows Best

Recently, my father reminded his class of the TV classic, “Father Knows Best.”  The title of that show lingered in the back of my mind as I thought about its connection to a life of excellence.

My father enjoys challenging my intellect with deep dialogues about the Bible.  During one of our moments of intense discussion, I decided to delve deeply into his thoughts.  We talked about our legacy and how we would like to be remembered.  He pondered for a few minutes and reminisced about his life.  He recalled events such as years in an influential industry and the loss of his brother.  We may view these experiences as difficult and heartbreaking or divinely orchestrated and used to change the direction and perspective of one’s life.  Simply, he said, “I did my best by living one day at a time and seeking the Lord with every step.”

Early in my parents’ marriage, my mother gave him an inscribed Bible, which remains one of his most treasured possessions.  She encouraged my father to immerse himself in Scripture.  A few years into their marriage (and after I came along), his brother passed away.  That event was a turning point.  He did not realize that his life had a significant purpose, though he had a wife and small family.  The teacher in him earnestly sought answers to his questions; and, over time, they were found.  His life is a testimony of that continuous journey.

All of us have a special and unique purpose.  Many of us wonder what may be our purpose, and the answer may not be apparent.  Yet, we could be in the middle of our purpose by what we do in our daily lives.  Our purpose may not be considered glamorous or particularly popular.  As a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, a student, an employee, a manager, or a friend, we have an incredible opportunity to influence many lives greatly.  Even as we take the time to reminisce, our perspective can change so we realize that we have had a significant influence on many lives through the years.  Our lives have been divinely orchestrated.  May we be encouraged to do our best every day right where we are—living our purpose.

Many continue to search for purpose.  Examples above hint that our purpose is not about us.  It is all about serving God and serving others.  Involvement in a local church or community group allows us to develop connections.  Explore your interests and vocation possibilities.  Discover how you can influence others through serving.  Over time, you discover a purpose that can bring fulfillment and joy.

Another challenge I presented to my father:  “What advice would you share with others?”  Surprisingly, he quickly responded, “Do not let the world influence you.”  His background allowed him to see the impact worldliness had on many prominent people.  Thankfully, he decided to take another road.  As we ended the discussion, he said, “I guess to sum it up, I would say, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths’” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  My father continues to live one day at a time, continues to study and teach the Bible, and live with purpose.  I guess you could say that truly my “Father Knows Best.”

Our connections challenge for the week:  Ponder the questions, “What do you want people to remember about you?” and “What advice would you share with others?”  Identify steps you can take so you may be remembered in that way.  Take advantage of opportunities to share with others today what you may have learned or are learning.

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