My Father

My Father

As I stepped out of the car, I could hear the sound of my father’s lawn mower as he meticulously cut his grass. It’s practically a religious event. One day a week, set aside, to become one with his yard. Between that and his obsession for coffee makers, I’m not quite sure which he’s more obsessed with.

Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t bother me in the least. However, the sound of that mower now has a different meaning to me. Before, I would just walk to the back door rolling my eyes and shaking my head as he passed by with a grin on his face. I wouldn’t even give it a second thought. Actually, if I just waited long enough, he’d drive his mower down his lane and turn right at the stop sign and end up in my yard cutting my grass.

For several months now, his mower has been quiet. When I stepped out of the car on those normally familiar days, I found that there was nothing familiar at all any longer. The sounds I had grown accustomed to were now deafening silent. The grass had grown past my father’s predetermined acceptable height. His mower sat gathering dust in his workshop, blades dull and oil unchecked. Something was amiss.

It’s amazing how fast someone in perfect health can encounter something so unexpected. Something so difficult to wrap your mind around that it fails to register within you for weeks. That, was my father. Always strong and working, even in retirement. The work from his hands looked a bit different now. He no longer scheduled the custodial duties for the local community college. He no longer worked to scrub and sanitize surfaces. Instead, his hands tied flies for fly fishing. They did odd jobs around the house. They fixed things for my daughters, enabling them to smile once again as they saw their broken items restored like new.

Things that we simply take for granted. As I snapped the image above, I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. For the first time, the doctors where telling us that my father would live. That he had turned the corner and was on his way back. It was news we had hoped and prayed for. Anxiety and worry had become our bedfellows. No more. Cancer, for now, would be defeated.

Each time I hear that mower now, I’m reminded of this. Victory can be found if we are willing to believe…to fight…and to never lose hope. Certainly, divine intervention plays a role as well, but I firmly believe that we are made to stand and never back down.

I know my father did.

If you struggle with an uncertain future today, remember that you have the power within you to focus…to fight…and to let go of the worry and anxiety that wages war with your soul. I’m reminded of a quote by one of my favorite preachers, Charles Spugeon:

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.

Tomorrow has yet to come. Be strong. Stand firm and face your adversary…look it right in the eyes…then rare back and swing with all you got.

Live for today.

Tony Patterson

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