Jesus, Take the Wheel
“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” Mother Teresa
The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him. Proverbs 20:7
Have you noticed as I have how very daily life is? It just keeps coming at us, dropping new challenges in our lap—season after season, year after year. It is Saturday afternoon, and I have been scrambling all week to tie up loose ends for this issue, which I must say is one of my all-time forever favs. There were, as there always seem to be, a few unexpected distractions and crises.
I am an avid fan of Robert St. John’s weekly column in The Clarion-Ledger. I almost choked on my oatmeal the morning I read that he was off to Italy for a month on another of his tour guide/travel and major eating excursions. This revelation came to my attention on April 16, Easter Sunday. He had committed to be our June cover story, and because we operate over here mostly by the seat of our pants, I had yet to arrange a time for the interview and photo shoot which obviously could not happen until late in May. I am also not your regular broadcast-style journalist who can get the words on paper with twenty minutes notice. I could see I was going to have to research, interview, contemplate, and execute in record time. And did I mention that hurry makes me crazy? Only conflict registers higher on my stress-o-meter.
Robert and I did not get together until last Tuesday. I flipped my usual order of writing stories saving the cover for last—which I have never in fifteen years done. Creature of habit that I am, I told myself that it was good to alter my routine and that I could do this. Of course I was not expecting my daughter to call on Wednesday afternoon telling me she was in the ER admitting her youngest child to UAB Children’s Hospital and that—oh, by the way—she had just had her own CT Scan a day earlier and would be needing some major surgery of her own ASAP. Was I available?
I have to say that over the past week, in the midst of serious prayer, I have recited every comforting Bible verse I know aloud to myself several times a day. Also, with regularity, I have had some old tapes playing in my brain—the good kind where I remember some relevant word of wisdom from my mother and especially a few choice morsels of very homespun advice from my daddy. One of his best and one I can definitely recall with the clarity and tone of his very voice, “Keep a high head and a stern rudder, Kid.” I equate that with the famous World War II British quote to “Keep calm and carry on.”
As I have told my son and my daughter in a few instances in recent days, “Just do the next right thing in front of yourself, and trust God to show you the next and the next.” I hope I have done that myself this week.
I have never been more conscious of the legacy of faith-filled parents. I say so often they may not be here anymore, but they have never really left me. Their words, as well as their examples, are inscribed on my heart and light the path in front of me day after day and year after year.
You are in for such a treat as you read our Men’s Issue. The daily news has given us a million reasons to be discouraged lately when it comes to the next generation. From college campuses, mainstream media, to social media platforms, the rage and lack of civility and kindness has been on full display. It makes me sad even more than it makes me mad because we seem to live in a nation that is so incredibly lost at the moment.
You will find great reason to be encouraged by the intentional young dads you will meet in this issue. They are smart, well-educated, eyes-wide-open guys who are willing to jump in and make a difference in a world that is starving for revival.
Enjoy. I send love from Birmingham! Happy Father’s Day!