True and Proper Worship
Even though I am 21 years old, I have always considered myself to be an “old soul.” I love the idea of doing things the old-fashioned way. “Old-school” simple routines and authentic relationships have always been extremely attractive to me, and those flavors of life have been revealed to me through country music.
When I express my love for classic country music to my peers, I almost always receive glares of disgust and disbelief. Country music is NOT cool among young adults, but it makes me happy. It reminds me of my home in Texas, it gives me hope of living a simple lifestyle, and it often helps me understand the importance of family.
One of my favorite country songs is called “The Best Day” by the one and only, George Strait. I have never listened through the entire song without crying. The song is about the very best moments that a son experiences with his dad, and how dads have a special way of creating “the best day” for their child. My dad, Ryan Ford, has consistently made incredible sacrifices just to give me incredible days. He lives a life of sacrifice, but he does it joyfully. To me, my dad embodies the biblical mandate for worship that is outlined in Romans 12:1.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
This verse always inspires me to live like my dad lives. My dad is a man that is willing to leave the 99 for the 1. He is willing to fight for his family, even when it’s inconvenient. He is willing to give his wife and kids the best that he has, while he takes nothing for himself. And most notably, 22 years ago, my dad was willing to sacrifice his pride, dignity, and plans to choose life amid an unplanned pregnancy. My dad worshipped in a moment of great fear. My dad sacrificed himself to give me a chance to breathe and experience the world. I am so thankful.
A Letter To My Dad
Hey Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
I love you so much.
As a 21-year-old, you still find ways to make my day. I love every minute of conversation that we have, and I cherish the nuggets of wisdom that you generously give. It is hard for me to put myself in your shoes when you were my age. You were in an incredibly difficult season and extremely afraid. You had a certain reputation, you had friends, you had family, and you probably felt like you disappointed everyone. I bet you felt alone. I know I would have.
I don’t know if I have ever officially thanked you for choosing life amid an unplanned pregnancy, and for that, I am sorry. Dad, thank you so much for standing up and willingly fighting for your family. Thank you for choosing to see past the circumstantial pain and fear and see that there was a life on the other end of your decision. Thank you for sticking by mom’s side and marrying her. Thank you for fighting for your family ever since and being a clear representation of the agape love of God.
I am getting married in 32 days. That sentence is mind-blowing but so exciting. I just want you to know that you have painted an incredible picture of how I want to raise a family. If I replicate the job you have done as a husband and a father, I will be ecstatic. You have always been, and will always be, the man I look up to most. From the moment you found out you were going to be a dad, until today, you have been near, caring, and believing. Thank you. Thanks for believing in me. Thank you for being a picture of my heavenly Father.
My love for God began with your life and leadership, and I can’t thank you enough for that reality.
To bless you on this special day, I wrote a short prayer that I want to pray over you.
A Father’s Day Prayer
Father, thank you so much for Daddy. He has been the most incredible blessing to me. I pray over him this year as a Father and a Husband, and I pray that you continue to fill him with your Spirit and your power. Give him greater influence, a wider reach, and bless his every move. Thank you for him. He loves you and his family like I want to love you and my family.
Happy Father’s Day. I love you.