Our first reading this morning reminded me of my Dad. Probably a good thing because I will be traveling tomorrow and won’t have time to post. Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of my Dad passing, so today’s first reading is like a little gift from God for me to remember him by.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.
My dad was a disciplinarian. I can’t think of a better way to describe him. My dad was tough on all of his boys growing up (which is why we all wished at one point we could have been our sister). I believe it was the way he was raised and come hell or high water, that was how he was going to raise his boys. One of my favorite stories to share as an example is one morning before school where we had all sat down to breakfast (with the exception of my sister and mother – they were allowed to “sleep in”). All the boys were eating our sugar infused cereal (you know the kind that has sugar on it from the factory and then another tablespoon gets added to it so when you’re finished with the cereal, you still have to eat the milk saturated sugar that has pooled at the bottom of the bowl). When the cereal was gone, we were given a frozen (but toasted waffle) to eat (with a single drop of syrup in each waffle divot). It was near the end of the waffle disbursement that my oldest brother John and Dad got into an argument (John was probably questioning why he was getting molasses while everyone else got syrup). My other brothers and I gave the bewildered glance to each other as we were all thinking “Wow, nobody argues with Jack Dorhauer, especially a son of his”. It escalated to the point that John angrily pushed away from the table and ran down the hall to his room; talking loud enough for Dad to hear he was saying something but not loud enough for Dad to hear what it was. We were all shocked at this, but being the loving brothers we were, we immediately began to toss lots for his waffle. It was then that we all gasped at what transpired next. Dad, feeling guilty (or so we thought) about the argument with his oldest son, called out to John in a very somber tone – “John, come here please.” What, is Dad going to apologize to John? This is big. No, this is HUGE! Dad’s don’t apologize, especially dads with the name of Jack Dorhauer. So John came back into the kitchen and replied “Yes Sir?” You could almost hear the victory in my brothers tone – he stood up to Dad and Dad was going to apologize. Then Dad said the words that I’ve never forgotten to this day…”John, now apologize to me for the way you’ve behaved.” That is my Dad – his way or the highway.
I would say my Dad’s discipline for us in the end has been beneficial to us all. We all work hard, we all love our family (siblings and extended) and I think we are all good, upstanding citizens. Our first reading implores us to “Endure your trials as “discipline” and then completes that line with “God treats you as his sons.” My dad, Jack Dorhauer, taught me to endure my trials, to face them like a man and to deal with them heads on. Thank you Dad, because although I may have been blinded to that truth growing up, I now realize more than ever how much you loved me; how much you loved all of us. I will always remember my Dad’s last days and especially the day he died. We were all with him at my sisters house. ALL OF US. My mom, my brothers and sister, all of the grandchildren and most of the spouses. We were all in his room, sharing stories of old, telling him how much we loved him and in his dying breath, he was able to say these last words to us…”I…LOVE…YOU.” And he was gone. Gone – but never forgotten.
Do something great for our Lord today – be disciplined in His way because His way is Truth and Light. His way will bring you everlasting life and joy’s beyond all comprehension. His way will be syrup on the pancake and never molasses.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.