Saturday, June 18, 2011

In Honor of Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day here are a couple of examples of great fathers. Enjoy.

Patrick Morley, in Man in the Mirror, tells about a group of fishermen who landed in a secluded bay in Alaska and had a great day fishing for salmon. But when they returned to their sea plane, it was aground because of the fluctuating tides. They had no option except to wait until the next morning till the tides came in. But when they took off, they only got a few feet off the ground and then crashed down into the sea. Being aground the day before had punctured one of the pontoons, and it had filled up with water.

The sea plane slowly began to sink. The three men and a 12-year-old son of one of them, Mark, prayed and then jumped into the icy waters to swim to shore. The water was cold, and the riptide was strong, and two of the men reached the shore exhausted. They looked back, and their companion, who was also a strong swimmer, did not swim to shore because his 12-year-old son wasn’t strong enough to make it. They saw that father with his arms around his son being swept out to sea. He chose to die with his son rather than to live without him.

There is a fact of life that most kids do not know. We love our children so much that we would die for them.

Would you be willing to give up your career, your aspirations, and a $600,000 annual salary if your family was in need? I know a man who did.

In 1985 Tim Burke saw his boyhood dream come true the day he was signed to pitch for the Montreal Expos. After four years in the minors, he was finally given a chance to play in the big leagues. And he quickly proved to be worth his salt—setting a record for the most relief appearances by a rookie player.

Along the way, however, Tim and his wife, Christine, adopted four children with very special needs—two daughters from South Korea, a handicapped son from Guatemala, and another son from Vietnam. All of the children were born with very serious illnesses or defects. Neither Tim nor Christine was prepared for the tremendous demands such a family would bring. And with the grueling schedule of major-league baseball, Tim was seldom around to help. So in 1993, only three months after signing a $600,000 contract with the Cincinnati Reds, he decided to retire.

When pressed by reporters to explain this unbelievable decision, he simply said, “Baseball is going to do just fine without me. But I’m the only father my children have.”

Great fathers are all around us. They don't blow their own horns. They just continue to be men of God who love their families and live honorably.