At my Ordination Service in January, it was a real joy to have my dad, Wil, and brother, Chris, read scripture.
They read from 2 Timothy chapter 4 verses 1-5, which states:
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.
Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
Dad spent 35 years teaching kids in elementary school, and administrating at several schools as vice-principal and principal. He taught me many of the principles in this scripture passage as they relate to everyday life:
Be prepared – Dad was involved in Scouts as a young man and loved camping; a love he passed on to us – we spent most of every summer touring around Canadian campgrounds, living out of a tent-trailer. Life lessons and practical skills were packed into these experiences!
Share good teaching – not just because he was a professional teacher, but because he is a teacher at heart, dad embodied the phrase “patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage people with good teaching. Thanks Dad!
Keep a clear mind – or “keep your head about you” as Dad says. He doesn’t have the flashiest of personalities (though he has a great sense of humour…) but rather he helped my brother and me to think clearly and always be an advocate for truth and fairness in our relationships and in the larger community too.
Work – Dad worked hard, and also knew how to relax and enjoy time with family & friends. Whatever you do, “telling others about the Good news” or anything else, work hard at it and do it to the best of your ability; my dad didn’t expect any more (or any less) and neither does our Heavenly Father.
As we celebrate fathers this month, I am very thankful to my Heavenly Father for the things my dad taught me, and that they are scriptural principles.