The Dedication of a Dad

     It’s amazing what becoming a parent can do to change you. Trenton Lewis didn’t have a job when his daughter Karmen was born. Suddenly the 21-year-old was a father—and a single father at that. But he was determined to be a good one.
He got a job at the local UPS facility, working the 4:00a.m. shift. That in itself would be too tough for some. The fact that it was five and a half miles away and he didn’t have a car would’ve been a deal breaker for many. But Trenton was determined. So he walked; five and a half miles each way, every day. And he never missed a shift. He was never late. He was there, on time, every day, even though he had to leave his house at midnight to make sure he got there on time. Then, at the end of a long day, he walked another five and a half miles home. He spent at least six hours each day walking, before and after an eight-hour shift. All to support his little girl.
I guess the story of Trenton touched me because I saw my Dad show similar dedication. He didn’t have to walk to work, but when I was a kid he worked a full week at an insurance company, while taking a heavy load of classes (sometimes 20+ hours in a semester) in Bible College. Oh, and he also traveled hours to preach at churches in Missouri and Arkansas on the weekends.
And do you know what I remember most about those years? Him hitting the tennis ball with my brother and me at the college’s tennis courts, going to family movie nights on campus, taking us to our t-ball and baseball games, and sitting through seemingly endless wrestling tournaments in Kansas and Oklahoma, where he and my mom would sit for hours to watch me wrestle for maybe ten minutes total—all to be there for his son. I remember watching Monday Night Football in his office with him while he did schoolwork. It had to have been hard for him, but he wanted to spend any little time with us that he could.
Looking back, I don’t know how he did it all. I mean, there are only so many hours in the day. And I imagine little Karmen Lewis will look back on her dad’s dedication and will wonder the same thing. We might wonder how they did it, but we don’t wonder why. They did it because they’re dedicated dads. They didn’t seek out fanfare or praise—it’s just what dads do. Our Heavenly Father set the example. He stepped down from the throne and sacrificed Himself for His children. Our job as parents is to point our children to Him by following His example of love and sacrifice.
Despite Lewis’ best efforts to keep his walking a secret, his coworkers found out and raised money to surprise him with a car. “God always has something for you,” Lewis said. And the first drive he took was a daddy/daughter date with Karmen.
           So let’s celebrate our dedicated dads by dedicating ourselves to serving them like they deserve. It’s the least we can do for all they’ve done for us.