The picture was taken by my then fiancé now wife when we came in for a friends' wedding in October 2008. It was a gorgeous day and was really looking forward to riding with my dad. He had been biking for several years up to this point and he has done several races and is addicted to biking. It is great exercise but also an awesome quiet time too, which as we all know, is rare and so treasured the older we get.
The ride was great. Awesome weather and even better company. But I look back at that day, especially that picture and it makes me smile and appreciate the picture. I think the reason I appreciate it more has everything to do with me becoming a father to a baby boy in the next few days.
You see, I have always been in awe of my father. Not just how he worked hard at everything he did or how he raised us to be Bible fearing men who respected women. But he has always been there for me no matter how hard life has been at times. You see him in the picture seemingly waiting for me to get on the bike and get going. But if you look at him, he is not yelling at me or disappointed that I am already starting behind. He is waiting.
He waited on me many, MANY times in life. Whether it was to learn a lesson or to understand what I was reading in a History book or an English book in high school. He waited on me and helped me through tough times in college. He waited for me to settle down and meet the woman of my dreams (okay so he waited for a decent amount of time on that one.). Then he waited patiently to become a grandfather for the first time.
One of the most memorable times that he showed such a great love for me was one of the toughest times in my life. It was on a Sunday afternoon in May 2000 and I had learned that a close friend had passed away. It was the first time I had ever gone through something like that and did not know what to do. I came home that Sunday afternoon after talking with friends and he was up in the circle of the neighborhood they live. He saw me pull up and almost ran to my car. We sat in the middle of the neighborhood crying. I have rarely seen my father cry and for him to show that emotion for his son, especially in a public setting, was a big thing.
My father definitely had to be patient with me many times throughout the years. I was not a patient kid growing up; however, I learned from him the importance of being patient. I see that everything he taught me growing up was to be honorable to God and family. He also taught me humility and that a good father, comes with a great wife. Without that great supporter in your life, it is very tough to get through tough times with a family. I am starting to get that now after only being married for just over a year with a baby on the way. The baby is not even here and I am understanding this. What my wife has been through over these last nine months has taught me even more patience that was taught to me before hand.
What makes the picture even better is that is not the picture my wife loves. She loves the following picture below. The other picture was more accidental than anything. But the picture taught me something else too. My father taught me to be a Bible fearing man who followed after God in every aspect of life.
In the picture, I am chasing my physical father here on Earth. I am also chasing after my Father in heaven. He has always been there for me in every aspect in my life. He has shown a great unconditional love for me and I know I can go to Him at anytime to ask for His love.
You know how I know that? My father taught me that. I have a lot to live up to for my baby boy. But I know I got my fathers to back me up. I always have.