How Can I Say Thanks

[Jesus said,]“But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered.”      Matthew 13:8 (CEV)

Today I want to say thanks. It isn’t an anniversary. It’s just a day like any other day which is another reason to think of my parents because they were very “ordinary” people.

They were born less than 20 miles apart in very small towns in the heartland of our country. They were raised during the depression. My father’s parents were seen as “rich” by my mother and her family because they owned a large farm which provided them with most of what they needed and plenty to sell. Both families were church-goers and supporters. In a day when people married within their faith and social group, my parents were seen as a “mixed marriage”. One Catholic, the other Protestant. One Democratic, the other Republican. One very poor, the other upper middle class.

My parents weren’t perfect parents but my observation and hindsight perspective is that they did better than their parents. They encouraged my brother and me in our education and it was always a forgone conclusion that we would go to college. They never told us what we had to do with our lives – just do our best. Marriage was a “forever” commitment and you didn’t give up when things got tough. They did not speak about their own faith but led by example, especially my mother who not only taught us to pray but did not hide that she prayed every night. We also saw that she truly loved to go to church. She worshiped.

Sowing seeds into our children and grandchildren is my legacy – for good or ill. That is my primary ministry within my family. I believe the ground will be most fertile when I sow by example. It is not about preaching to my children, it is about being who I am and allowing them to see how I struggle and succeed with Jesus in my life. Do I cry out to God? Yes. Do I struggle with understanding the “why” and “when” of what He does? Yes. But at the end of my days, I loved Him and did all that I did to point people to Jesus.

So, thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for all that you did and the seeds that you sowed in my life. Those seeds did multiply and not just to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You wouldn’t believe all the places in the world that your legacy has traveled! Rest now from your labors and I will see you again one day.

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