Friday, October 7, 2011

Todd: Jobs; Around the House, the Heart Is Where Dads Do the Real Work

I have long followed Todd Wilson, a homeschooling father like me, who goes across the country speaking to other homeschooling dads and moms, unlike me. If I had boundless energy and established donors and speaking contacts, I still wouldn't have the God-given anointing to do what he does to bring homeschooling families the encouragement he does.

Todd's transparency, his willingness to admit his failures to live up to his own ideals, places him in a unique class of legitimacy and sincerity. His tag line, "You da dad!" means simply that each father occupies an irreplaceable role in the lives of his children and that each of us are called to step up and fill the role. It doesn't shift with the changing nature of relationships and the sense of impermanence that pervades today's society. We are the ones who shape the next generation into what they will be, by our presence or, regrettably, by our absence. Our children need things--irreplaceable things--from us as dads that they will never get from their moms or from anyone else in their lives; our approval and our blessing, to name two.

Did I get all this by listening to Todd? Maybe. Or it could be that he simply confirmed what I've known in my heart all along. Regardless, I've grown under his leadership and direction as he teaches by his own life and experiences, which enables his sometimes brutal honesty to cut through all the malarchy and flotsam of being a parent and a person in ministry, two roles I can appreciate more than most.

His latest dispatch from the trenches was about the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the most visionary leaders of technology the world has seen in the past 200 years, perhaps since creation. No, I'm not putting you on, and yes, I'm a PC person. I haven't supported Apple since the Apple IIc in 1985. Yet, even the most hardened PC proponent must recognize Jobs' role in making the technological world what it is today. Nonetheless, Jobs' accomplishments didn't really matter in the big scheme of things. Nor did Newton's or Edison's or anyone else's. They were all human, they died, and what really mattered was who they loved and who loved them. That's true greatness. Todd gives hints of this in his latest update.

Hey Dad,

I hope you’re doing great, but I’m feeling a little somber. It started last night as we were gathered in the familyroom to watch one of the original Anne of Green Gables movies. My oldest son Ben (18) walked into the room and announced, “Steve Jobs just died.”

I imagine it was a little like that evening in the 60’s when they announced that Walt Disney died, especially for a technology kid. Ben is also a techno-kid, so for the last 2-3 years he’s kept us abreast on all the latest Apple inventions and upgrades, Apple stock, and the news that just a few weeks ago Apple passed Exxon as the most valuable company in the world.

Today, the tech-world is eulogizing him…recounting his story, his unique personality, and the gizmos he invented that have helped shape the modern world.

To tell you the truth, I can’t stop thinking that all he worked for, sacrificed for, and cared about…didn’t really matter. Don’t get me wrong. I think all the iGadgets are cool, but I would just about bet that he wasn’t thinking about iGadgets during his last few moments.

In fact, his name will soon fade (my little kids didn’t know Walt Disney was a real person), and someone else will control the iUniverse.

The truth is that some things matter and some things don’t…iThings don’t matter but iDads and iHusbands DO.

So, Dad, go love your wife and children…and change the world!

You ‘da iDad!

There's little to say after all that, except that, the further I go in living with my disabilities, I'm realizing that my role as a husband and a father has so much less to do with my abilities than it does with my heart and my will. I could never lift a finger again and yet be a successful father. Though I can't walk out my love for them by providing for them and working with them on things, I can love them with my heart, my eyes, my words, and my care of their hearts. I will not always have them in my home as I do now, but being a father, as my own father is showing me, never goes away. I will live forever, and I will love forever as well.

Much peace,

4 comments:

deni said...

What an interesting perspective on Steve Jobs. There are so many times when I look back at my life and feel I have accomplished so little.

When someone like Jobs dies, I start to compare my accomplishments and I fall so short.

I have to stay in the perspective that all I do, no matter how small is for God - and not compare what I can or cannot do to others.

It's obvious our world was changed forever by Job's technology. That can't be denied. But there is something greater at work in our world and the changes will be more far-reaching. Nothing is impossible with God.

Thanks for putting my thoughts into words.

Steve said...

Thanks, deni! That's a great compliment!

Your comment prompts me about something I will need to take a new post to fully explore. Stay tuned.

Thanks again!

jamesf569 said...

Keep on posting Steve. You don't know how many of us you touch with your blog

I'm a stay at home dad who home schools my two children and I also have disability's due to a nasty snake bite years ago.

At times when I'm feeling inadequate in my role as a father, teacher, provider, I can always come to your blog for
encouragement.

It also helps me to know I'm not the only one who has these feelings and struggles.

Keep up the good work. I know your touching and helping a lot of people.

In Christ, Jim.....

Nancy said...

Steve,
I've lost an email address for you & Karen. I've got some questions for you all. Stuff's not getting any better.