Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letter To A Distant Dad

Dear Daddy,



God just really had it on my heart tonight to write you this letter. I recently heard this song on the radio, and I really felt like I was supposed to tell you what it meant to me. The song is called “Lead Me,” by Sanctus Real. It’s a song about a man looking at his life, and realizing it’s not everything that other people think it is, and even not what he thinks it to be. He realizes that he needs to be there to lead his whole family, and that they need him to love them, fight for them, and never leave. At the end, though, he realizes that what he needs most is to pray earnestly for God to help him…he realizes he can’t do this alone.



“I look around and see my wonderful life

Almost perfect from the outside

In picture frames I see my beautiful wife

Always smiling

But on the inside, I can hear her saying...



“Lead me with strong hands

Stand up when I can't

Don't leave me hungry for love

Chasing dreams, what about us?



Show me you're willing to fight

That I'm still the love of your life

I know we call this our home

But I still feel alone”



This part of the song is obviously about the man’s wife, and I can’t help but relate it to mom. I know that you know deep down inside, that she prays this prayer every day. All she wants from you is love. A love that will lead and guide her when she needs help, and that will never leave her side. I know you say that you both have had problems for a while, but think for a moment- does it really matter what problems you guys may have faced? Do you just automatically give up when things get hard and you see no way in fixing anything? Dad, when you said, “I do,” to mom 25 years ago, did you really mean it? I believe you did…or I wouldn’t be here.



Don’t you want to be a man of your word? You can’t honestly say that you fought for mom, because you didn’t. You gave up. You left her, and no matter what you say…you left us. If you really loved us, you would come back home. All mom wants you to do is fight for you guys, and fight for the life that we all can have as a family. Like it says in the song by Warren Barfield, “Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.”

I want you to hear the rest of the song… really listen to these words…



“I see their faces; look in their innocent eyes

They're just children from the outside

I'm working hard; I tell myself they'll be fine

They're independent

But on the inside, I can hear them saying...



“Lead me with strong hands

Stand up when I can't

Don't leave me hungry for love

Chasing dreams, but what about us?



Show me you're willing to fight

That I'm still the love of your life

I know we call this our home

But I still feel alone”



And this part is what I want to tell you everyday…but never can find the words to tell you so.



Dad, I need you. I need you to love me, guide me, fight for me, always be there for me…and never leave me. But I can’t trust you anymore. As hard as it is for me to say that, it’s true. You have lied to us so many times, that I question almost everything you do, or say you are going to do. I have lost faith in you. Dad, if we were really still the “love of your life,” you would be at home with us. You never would have left. You would fight to save your marriage, and to be my hero.

But even if you don’t want to do it for me, do it for my brothers. They are crying out for you in their own ways, and you are just ignoring them. All these guys want is someone they can trust, and someone they know will never lie or leave again. These guys need you just as much as I do. They need you to hear them out, and to be patient with them when they struggle to find words to really explain how they feel. You may think these guys are just lazy and rude…but they are not. They are just hurt and afraid. They need you as a strong dad to show them just what kind of man to grow up to be, and especially how to treat their wife in the future.



Now look at yourself right now. You are living a life of lies, deceit, and adultery. Is that how you want your son to grow up to be? I sure hope you would say “no”!



And then there is my littlest brother…he is so young that he really doesn’t understand much, but he knows something is wrong… he just doesn’t know how to process it all. He knows something is wrong, but he doesn’t understand why you are acting the way you are. You may think the little guys are being overly sensitive or afraid of a lot of things. But that’s not the case. They are just confused and sad. That is why little things that normally wouldn’t bother them, now are making them very upset. But it’s nothing they have done wrong…it’s all the changes in you. All the guys miss you being at home with us. They miss playing with Hot Wheels or building Lego’s together. They miss seeing you every night before bedtime, and every morning not seeing you when they wake up. These boys want to grow up to be good dads, in fact one of my brothers even said this not long ago,



“When I grow up, I don’t want to work as much as daddy does, so I can be home and play with my little boy.”



Doesn’t that break your heart to think that he wants so bad to have you as a good role model, yet you don’t seem to be doing anything about it.



Dad I need to be loved and listened to. I deserve to live life knowing that you are always there for me and my brothers, and that you will never leave us. Don’t get mad when you see the boys acting out…they are only doing it because of the stress of having very little stable in their lives right now. Pretty much every day is a new challenge for all of us, because of having to always go back and forth between home and your apartment; it’s harder than you could ever realize. Why can’t you sit down and play with the boys again? Why are you are always on the phone, or out running errands instead of really spending time with us? We need you in our life, but even more than that… Dad we need you to just come home.





“So Father, give me the strength

To be everything I'm called to be

Oh, Father, show me the way

To lead them

Won't You lead me?



To lead them with strong hands

To stand up when they can't

Don't want to leave them hungry for love,

Chasing things that I could give up



I'll show them I'm willing to fight

And give them the best of my life

So we can call this our home

Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone



Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone.”



Dad, this is the prayer you should be praying every day. You need God so much more than you think, and you can’t do ANYTHING without Him. You can fix anything…if you just ask God to help you. He wants more than anything to mend our broken home, and He’s just waiting on you. He has never left you, Dad, and those times when you’ve felt the most confused…those are the times that God was speaking to you the loudest, and you were ignoring His voice. All you have to do is pray for courage to stand up for what you know deep down inside is the right thing to do, no matter what anyone else is telling you. You have to beg God to help you fight for this family, because He will always help when His children call. Pray for selflessness, and strength. And lastly, pray that God will lead you. He will only lead someone who has surrendered their will, though. Therefore, you need to die to your selfishness and pride…and let God consume your heart. All He wants is your heart, Dad, and He can make everything right again. In the end, it doesn’t really matter how much you’ve done to try and “fix” things how you think they should go…you will not be successful unless you have God, and you are living for Him. There’s one quote from the Fireproof movie I really want to leave you with.



“You can’t just follow your heart. Your heart can be deceived. You have to lead your heart.”



This means that you can’t live by feelings, because feelings can deceive you. You need to live by the faith that God can heal anything, if you let Him. You need to lead your heart. That means that you need to be in control of your actions, and not base them on temporary feelings. Emotions can “feel” good at the moment, but they falter and fade. The one thing that stands the test of time is love. You need to lead your heart, Dad. You know what the right thing to do is…so do it. Be courageous. Don’t be afraid of what other people may think, what will have mattered is that you did the right thing.



I love you so incredibly much, Dad. And I hate to see all of this happening. But what makes me the saddest is that it doesn’t look like you have done anything to try and fix it. Please, I beg you…come back to God…and come back home. His arms will always be open, and so will ours.



I love you and I miss the father and man you used to be.

Where did he go?



Love always,



Your Daughter, for ever

Love

By Dr. Tim Clinton

“This is a football”

Vince Lombardi…Many consider him to be the greatest pro football coach of all time. But his opening speech at training camp is a study in simplicity. He would stand on a table, hoist a pigskin, and say:

“Gentlemen, this is a football.”

But, wouldn’t a bunch of big-time NFL pros know that? Yes…but Lombardi understood that as the game grew more and more complicated, emphasizing the basics of the game became more and more essential. Nothing is more basic to the game…than the football. Everything centers on it.

The most important “basic” in our faith is love.

1 John 3:11… ”For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…”

Re-think…love.

Everything Christian centers around it. Without it, our “words” are an irritating noise…a clanging gong.

“…Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another…” (4:11)
Re-think…love. Toward total strangers. When the waitress is rude, or somebody cuts you off in traffic…Love covers a multitude of sins.

“…By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers…” (3:16)

Re-think…love. In the Church. Why is it that it seems to be easier to love someone on the other side of the world, than the other side of the room?

“…Let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth…” (3:18)
Re-think…love. For your husband, wife, kids, parents.
Jesus says that we demonstrate that we are His… by the love we show to others.

Re-think…Love…kinda like… “Gentlemen, this is a football”

Life is Art

by Jim Rohn


In my years teaching people to be successful, I have seen that basically people break their lives down in to two major parts: Wealth-building and the rest of their lives. Having done a lot of reflection on these two topics - wealth and life - I am coming to some new conclusions about how to perceive the two.

Until recently I thought that there was a significant difference in how we should tackle the two areas. In fact, I thought that the two topics should be addressed in almost opposite fashion.

You see, wealth-building is just math. While life -- Life is art.

Think back with me to high school. Most of us were required to take math and most of us probably took art as well.

Now, think about your final exams in the two areas. Your math paper was graded on hard facts:

Ten times ten is always one-hundred
Thirty divided by three is always ten
Seven plus seven is always fourteen
Fifty minus twenty-five is always twenty-five

There is always just one answer in math. The answers are hard fact, set in stone. Math is a science. It is formulaic. You can know the outcome before it happens, every time.

But what about your final art project? Art is much more subjective. "Beauty," they say, "is in the eye of the beholder." There is no one right answer.

Think of the different styles of the famous artists:

Renoir. Monet. Picasso. Rockwell. Warhol.

Different people find different styles beautiful, and that is what makes art, art. So how does this fit with Wealth-building and life? Wealth-building is like math:

If you add $1000 to your retirement account each month and gain seven percent interest over twenty years, you can know now how much you will have then. It is math. If you buy a rental property for $200,000 now and it increases in value by three percent a year, you know exactly how much you will be able to sell it for in ten years. The beauty of math is in the knowing. You can work the system, set it on auto-pilot and the math does the work for you, and you know the outcome.

But life? Life is art. And that is the beauty of life. You do not know how it is going to turn out. Life, like art, is always changing. Different people provide different colors. When you make a mistake you can go back, erase it or even paint right over it. You can change the scenery. Life, like art, is ever evolving, and what looks good to one person is of no interest to another. And that is what makes life beautiful.

Another lesson I think we can draw is that in life we should do our math, of course, but life isn't made up of just wealth-building. Wealth-building should serve our ability to live our lives. Jesus, the master teacher, said that our lives are not made up of the abundance of our possessions. He didn't mean that possessions aren't good, just that wealth isn't what life is all about.

So let me ask you: Are you spending more time on your math or your art? Do your math. Everybody should do their very best at their wealth-building plan so they can take care of themselves and their families.

But life is about the art. What does your canvas look like? What kind of picture are you painting? What kind of pot are you creating? What kind of statue are you sculpting? Take your time, make bold strokes, use brilliant colors, and make of your life the most beautiful masterpiece that you can.

In other words, do your math so you can focus on your art.

Reproduced with permission from Jim Rohn's Weekly Newsletter. To subscribe, go to www.JimRohn.com All contents Copyright © JimRohn.com except where indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide.