My father died and was buried the week before my trip to India. We had his affairs to quickly settle, possessions to dispose of and lots of arrangements to make. At the same time a new pastor needed orienting to our church. And of course there was India to get ready for. As a result I haven’t had time to think and process all that has been going on. So here I sit in the airport with a few hour wait and I can finally get my thoughts organized and put into words.
I have always been proud of being a Schmoyer. I remember learning my family’s story when I was very little – the youngest Schmoyer. Everyone was older than me and there was great security in that. Now I am the oldest Schmoyer, all the others are younger than me. I remember the death of my great-grandfather, grandfather and now my father. So I step to the front of the line. I had been number 2 in line for the last 40 years and knew this day was coming, and I thought I was prepared (as much as one can be before the real thing comes). But of course the reality is always different than what was imagined. I will miss my father – he has been the one consistent in my life for my 68 ½ years. His passing will leave a hole in my life. I will grieve him more when I return and the finality of it sets in, when we have his memorial service (2:15 PM February 14 at Phoebe Home in Allentown PA), and at many times in the future. That is how I continue to grieve the loss of my sister and mother. That will unfold as it will in the future.
Now my thoughts are on what it means for me to step to the front of the line as the oldest Schmoyer. For many it would just mean they seem to be the next in line to die, but in God’s eyes there is much more to it than that. There is a responsibility, a headship, a protection, an example, a prayer responsibility and much more that go alone with it. I’m just trying to figure it all our, so I’d appreciate any thoughts or Bible verses that apply to this. Thanks!For one thing, I have a responsibility to oversee my family, lifting them up in prayer in a regular and specific way. I also oversee by giving encouragement and assistance to them as they all continue on their journey in life. I have wisdom to pass on in the right way and at the right time. If I want them to or not, they look to me for an example. It’s not a time for me to coast and become a self-centered, uninvolved old man. If anything, I must be even more giving and other-centered now. I have tried to teach my children how to start life and how to live as adults.
Now I must teach them, mainly by example, how to finish life. I now of no magic key, no deep wisdom to pass on. All I can do is keep on growing in faith and obedience as I have tried to do in the past. It’s a different feeling knowing I am being watched by others, even if they aren’t really aware they are doing it. The example of my great–grandparents, grandparents and parents formed and molded me more than I probably know. Now it is my opportunity to step to the front of the line and take my turn doing the same. I don’t know how lone I will be first in line, but I do want to use every day of it for God’s glory in my life and the lives of those who know me. Pray God would help me do this, for its not anything I can do on my own!
Proverbs 23:22-25 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. 24 The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. 25 May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!
If you have a father: do you pray for him to be a godly man who will guide and lead you in the ways of the Lord? Do you show him respect and honor and learn from his example and wisdom?If you are a father: do you try to set a godly life for those who are in your family? Do you recognize your role as God’s representative to pray, lead and guide your family in His wisdom?