Some people think my dad is crazy. The way he lives, the way he dreams, and the risks he takes despite the consequences are unusual and extraordinary. He is strong-willed and determined to do hard things, some things that don’t even make sense. Yes, some people think something is wrong with his head at times, but me? I think he is superman! Despite his fight with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis, he has an extreme faith with God. He follows Him with a crazy love that shows through his various passions, and he has taught me to do the same. My dad reminds me of my heavenly father.
As a little kid, I remember riding behind my dad’s motorcycle as he did a wheelie. I remember him throwing lollipops in the deepest end of the pool and trying to get my brother and I to hold our breath forever. I remember him sending me down a river when I was three years old on my own tube without a lifejacket. I remember him teaching me how to play softball, to do gymnastics, and to boogie board the biggest waves at the beach. I remember a lot about my dad, and the best thing he ever taught me was to never be afraid. He taught me that I could do the crazy things, the hard things. My dad proved that failure was never an option unless you make it one. God taught us that with Him all things are possible.
My dad was always an athlete, but more than that he was a survivor. He windsurfed, raced motorcross, slalom skiied, ran, and was a triathlete. He had crazy adventures, and sometimes I got to go with him on them. If you knew all the things my dad did, you would wonder why he is still alive. I remember getting lost on a trail way up in the mountains with him while we were dirtbiking, and a storm started, and the hail was so hard that we had to stop. We ran to the woods and found a tiny abandoned cabin and stayed there until the storm passed. Crazy adventures like that were an everyday occurance with my dad. My dad takes everything to the limit, so almost every memory we have together is an adventure of some kind. Life with God is always an adventure because Jesus asks us to take up our cross daily.
When I was around the age of 10, my dad’s health started to waver. I didn’t really notice because my dad didn’t like to publicize his pain. Slowly his ability to move around well and do extreme sports began to deteriorate. My dad was close to the age of fifty and he fought it off for a while. Sometime later he went to a doctor and described his pain. The first doctor told him rheumatoid arthritis or that he was just getting old. Other doctors ordered tests. Then they said osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other long words. My dad chose not to believe them; he just kept fighting, riding, and playing hard. He went to doctors a few years later in a much desperate condition. His hips, his joints, his back, his whole body seemed to be in pain. Nothing seemed to work so well anymore. Doctors didn’t know how to diagnose him. They said different things and said my dad was too old to play so hard. My dad didn’t listen. Jesus didn’t listen to Satan when he tempted him three times.
My dad was the one who taught me to juggle when I was ten years old. Three years later he bought me my own fire torches even though I was only thirteen. While my mom shook her head in disproval because she did not want me to burn myself, my dad lit the torches for me and encouraged me to try them even though I was scared. My dad taught me how to unicycle when I was 14 by running along by my side holding my hand. He taught me to slalom ski, kayak in rough rivers, and run. When I was younger, I hated running but after my dad couldn’t run anymore, I promised myself I would run for him. Now I’ve done a triathlon, some 5ks, and even a 10k. My dad was the reason I got my lifeguard certification with a broken arm. He believed in me when no one else did. God believes in us. He has a plan for each of us.
My dad made me who I am and taught me so much. Because of him, I’m not afraid to try new things or have crazy adventures. I’m not the least bit afraid of failure, and I’m not afraid of dying. My only desire is to make the most of the life I have and love everyone I can. That is God’s mission for us too: love God, love others, and glorify Christ.
When I reflect on everything my dad has done for me, I am reminded how much our Heavenly Father has done for each of us. He is the Ultimate Superhero and definitely the best dad ever. His blessings extend further than we can imagine. His grace and mercies abound endlessly. Matthew 7: 11 says If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Let’s thank God for His love today. Happy Fathers Day!