Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Keep On Truckin'

Valentine's Day was my father's birthday. I think of him often and every day I realize more how much he shaped my life. This entry, from June of 2007, is about another father I encountered in an airport.

He fell in behind me at the boarding gate at Houston's Hobby Airport on Saturday. He confessed he had never been on a plane before and I assume he got in line just because the rest of us had. He asked if this line indicated where we would sit once inside. I asked to see his boarding pass and told him he was in the A group, meaning we would board first so he was in the right place. In his mid-twenties, he told me his story. The father of four, he had lived in Alvin, a suburb of Houston, all of his life. A friend of his had moved to St. Louis and had started a trucking business and promised him a position. With a little training and an upgrading of his trucking license, he was going to begin clearing $6,000 every month, build a new house, and send for his wife and kids by autumn. He was going on faith- he had never been to St. Louis before and asked me what it was like. I told him I enjoy the city when I visit my folks but they live in one of the outlying suburbs. Before we boarded, he spoke on his cell phone and he thanked whoever was on the other end for watching out for his family. When we arrived in St. Louis, I saw him with his friend at the baggage claim. He was thrilled- after all, he had survived his first airplane trip which was not without excitement. His new life was about to begin.

What would you do for your family? This man was doing something incredibly difficult, being separated from his wife and children, to make it better for them in the long run. It must be so painful to say good-bye, even temporarily, to the dearest on earth to you. How would you comfort your children, even knowing it was for their own good? There is Biblical precedent. In his last hours, Jesus told his apostles that he was going away. In John 14, the Savior explains that he is going to prepare a place for them. Two chapters later, in the same conversation, Jesus is more blunt with the disciples:
"It is for your own good that I am going away." In further detail, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit coming to them and the blessing that will be in their lives. I am pretty sure those eleven men did not fully comprehend but they trusted the source of the words. Four small children and their momma in Houston are going to miss their truck driving daddy...but their grief will be short-lived and their lives will be enriched. When the time is right, he will send for them. Incredibly, Jesus made that same promise to his family!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Noble fathers have noble children."

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com


Laurie said...

I hope you enjoy your time with your family.

Sherry Ann said...

Papa worked in the Middle East for 9 years when I was a little girl. When I get to high school, he returned home for good and never went back to Middle east again just to be with us. One of the reasons why we grew "closer" to Papa. He sacrificed a good deal just to provide us a better future.

Joey Brown said...

You write well and use great analogies, enjoyed.