Today would have been my father’s 95 birthday. He has been in heaven for 15 years. He was born toward the end of World War I and grew up in the 1920’s and 1930’s. His early years were spent as an apprentice to a car dealership in Johannesburg where he repaired broken car seats and windows and other aspects of car trim. Later, he did the same kind of work for the South African Railways. An encounter with God led him and Mother into the world of Child Evangelism and then into pastoring within the Church of the Nazarene–first in South Africa, then in Canada and the United States.
I often wonder about definitive motivations in a life such as his. What pushed him on? What pulled him on?
I am sure that one of his great “motivators” was the verse: ” . . . I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14 NIV) .
Father believed that things could be better. So in spite of times of discouragement, he kept pressing on. He advanced the Kingdom of God wherever he went. Some examples: He knew how to make something out of little or nothing; he cared for broken people; he preached the Word regularly and in the early days both in English and Afrikaans; he visited lonely people; he transported the poor and the young to church; and he fixed everything around the home and church that need to be repaired.
He was an example. Not a perfect one; but a good one.
I was privileged to know that he loved me.