Dream again, Daddy

by Keith Manuel, posted Friday, June 13, 2008 (10 years ago)

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--Do you remember when you thought you could and would change the world? You knew you were going to invent or find something that would make the world a better place.

Why did your dreams die?

Fathers, your children need to see you dream big, God-sized dreams. They need to see you dream in a way that changes them and the world for Christ.

Can you dream of a workplace where faith is in the forefront, not a hidden part of your personality? Dad, start that company. Can you dream of a way to communicate the Gospel around the world? Dad, invent that tool. Dad, can you dream of a way to make your city safer ... your home more secure ... your children learn better? Dad, you can make it happen.

You may have a potbelly or six-pack abs. You may be a genius or less-than-average. You may be rich or poor. Still, you can be your kids' hero.

My dad was common by the world's standards. He worked in a shipyard as a pipefitter. He didn't drive a fancy car or own a big house. He received a G.E.D. when I was in elementary or early middle school. He wasn't a preacher or a politician. He didn't change a city or the world. He just changed me.

I watched how hard he worked at his job and in the church. He taught seventh-grade boys in Sunday school. As soon as the football game was over on Sunday afternoons, he would start preparing his lesson for the next week. He studied and prayed every day. By the following Sunday, he was very prepared.

My father was at the Mississippi Baptist Convention building helping plan World Changers, an annual youth project to rebuild houses, the day before he died. He loved being a crew chief and changing lives through the abilities God gave him. While he was changing others, he changed me.

Your kids are going to look up to someone. Why don't you let it be you?

Dad, will you dare to dream what your prayer life could be like if you really committed time to it? Can you imagine Jesus bringing salvation to your neighbor through your testimony? Could God use your gifts as a missionary? Is there a group of young boys who needs a Sunday school teacher?

Your children need to see you model faith, integrity and hope. They need you to open doors they are not strong enough to open. They need to see you get up when you fall. They need to see you pray. They need to see you read the Bible. They need to see you give. They need to see you worship. They need to see you stand strong in the Lord when everything else fails around you. They need to see you make a difference for Christ.

Can't you hear your child's voice saying, "Dream again, Daddy. Dream about changing the world. Dream about finding something or inventing something. But Dad, while you're dreaming, please don't forget about me. You're my hero."

Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention's evangelism & church growth team.

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