Daddy was walking away

21 07 2010

Today, I wish I were an artist. If I were an artist I would paint you a picture of a memory of my father that is etched in my brain.

It was probably about 45 degrees, although as a child I probably thought it was in the 20’s and my father had taken me hunting. We were not sitting in a deer blind waiting for the deer to come to us so we could shoot them as they grazed. We actually parked our car on the side of the road and hiked into the Sabine National Forest in hopes that we would come across a trophy buck, or doe, or, that day, even a trophy squirrel. The sight of a wild animal of any kind would have had me overjoyed. Unfortunately, we did not see any wild “game”. And I use the term “game” loosely. We didn’t even fire our guns. But I learned something that day about my father, which may be just now starting to show itself in my life. You see, that day, we got lost. That’s right, deep woods lost. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.

I can still smell the air of that day. It was overcast and cold. It was in December after my 10th birthday. I remember because my father still had his blue Oldsmobile company car. It was that blue Oldsmobile that we parked on Hwy. 87 just over the hill and around the bend from FM 3315 and went into the woods at about 7 o’clock in the morning. By lunchtime we were extremely lost. We had brought our lunch with us, so food wasn’t a problem, but as it started getting darker and colder, I could see my dad becoming more and more perplexed. We knew where we parked the car, but we just could not get back to that area. After what seemed like an eternity, we came out on a road that we recognized. The map shows where we came out and where we parked the car.

We were so relieved. We went back to the little gas station at the corner of FM 3315 and Hwy. 87 and began to thaw out. Of course, that’s what I did as a 10-year-old boy, but my 38-year-old father could not stay with us because he had to walk back to where the car had been left. Perhaps the most vivid memory of my father is him with his back to us trudging up the hill, with his hands stuffed into his pockets trying to stay warm and I knew everything was going to be alright as he walked away.

Looking back on that day, I realize that leading is not so much about facing a crowd and telling them how to live, but it’s more about turning your back to them and giving them someone to follow.

The people we love the most WILL have memories of us walking away. It is inevitable, but what will we be walking away to?

My dad walked away to go to work.
He walked away to help others.
He walked away to take my mother on dates.
He walked away to pray.
He walked away…
And led me to be more.

As you turn your back on those you love the most, where are you headed?
Today is my daddy’s birthday. He would have been 63 today. I hope he has a big birthday cookie in heaven.

Thank you, daddy, for leading me. Happy Birthday from your #1 son.

Spit it out

14 07 2010

It’s a maxim you have probably quoted as Bible, but in actuality it comes from an old Scottish proverb that says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” Yes, confession is good for the soul. So… Here goes.

A few weeks ago, as is the custom in the Daigle house, things were a bit chaotic in the morning. My son Caleb, who is five, came out while I was running around trying to get things done, and as children are want to do, started trying to tell me something. It sounded something like, “uh, uh, uh, da, uh, daddy, uh, can, uh, uh, uh.” I was getting extremely frustrated in my hurried state and so I turned to him like any loving father would do and I said, “Caleb, spit it out.” Caleb immediately cupped his hands together, brought them up to his mouth and did what you would expect any 5 year-old boy to do when given a command form his father. He did exactly what I told him to do. He spit in his hands. As you can imagine I went from being six feet tall to being six inches tall in that instant. My son trusted me enough to do what I asked him, no matter how absolutely insane it seemed. I knelt down beside him and explained that what I actually wanted him to do was slow down and tell me what he needed so that I could fulfill his need.

I got to thinking about how many times are we so consumed with what we want that we don’t even take the time to ask our heavenly father. He wants us to ask. It’s simple and yet many times it is so complex. I for one have difficulty finding the words to say when I am in prayer and asking God to do things for me. I think that for years I listened to other people preach their prayers to God and I felt like my prayers had to be boisterous and eloquent for them to be heard. Really, our Father is just waiting for us to ask in our own way. He doesn’t require some contrived or prepared statement. He just wants us to ask.

Matthew 7:7-11 (New Living Translation)
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?
10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!
11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

What do you need? Just spit it out!

July 5 is important

5 07 2010

Last night I went to sleep with the sound of bombs bursting in air. It’s on July 4 every year that we are reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson: “Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.” Yesterday not only did we celebrate our Independence, but we also remembered those Patriots who paid the ultimate price that we may be free.

Today I was awakened to birds chirping and sun shining. There were no rockets casting off a red glare or bombs bursting in air. There was just a peaceful sense of Freedom. As I prepared for my day I was reminded that today is July 5. The Declaration of Independence was signed by a small group of men on July 4, but the war for that Independence raged on long after that.

What have you been declared your independence from in the past? What have you decided you will no longer be held captive by? Today is July 5. The celebration is over. It is imperative that you make a decision today to fight for the freedoms that you have made declarative in your life. Just because you have made a decision doesn’t bring that decision to fruition. You must continually work to be that person that you have decided you need to be. Don’t be content to just say it. Live the freedom. Be the freedom.

Get up and get to it.