Some of my earliest memories of my Dad are building things in the backyard, drawing together, sitting on the back of his bike, and praying together every night before bed. I remember sitting and listening to my Dad with such great fascination as he would tell the most creative stories and take me on the most exciting adventures. Thanks to him, I have climbed up the face of the steepest mountain with nothing but a rope and determination. I have successfully crossed raging rivers by swinging on vines as birds guided the way. I have even managed to upgrade my car booster seat into a flying race car that can take me to anywhere in our solar system.
Just like many others, I have heard story after story about my Dad’s childhood. His eyes always twinkle a certain way when he remembers the fun that he would have, playing in the creek with his friends. My Dad’s youthfulness and sense of adventure continues to shine through his daily life. Having recently turned 50, my sisters and I like to remind my Dad that he is now half-a-century old (or young). When I turned 13, my Dad created a photo album and filled it with 13 important things for me to remember, or lessons that he says I taught him. So now I would love to share some of the greatest things that my Dad has taught me.
Walk in humility, always
Something that I have found challenging in the past is guiding people towards truth and life through Jesus, without making it seem like pride is a motivator. People so often try to convince others to follow and practice their beliefs on various political, religious or even dietary matters. What stands out about Jesus’ ministry, was how to he sought no credit and only lived to serve. While my Dad is not perfect, I am reminded of him when I re-read that sentence.
We are called to serve. We are called to be generous. We are called to love God and love people without chasing things that may boost our ego. However, God does not expect perfection from us. He sent Jesus because He knew our strength was not enough to overcome daily challenges and temptations that we face. My Dad has taught me to take on challenges with enough courage and humility to recognise and accept that I will not always get it right the first time.
Never forget to see the adventure in what lies ahead
No matter the situation, one thing that my Dad always brings, is fun and adventure. Throughout my childhood, he was always one to set up obstacle courses, make slip and slides, climb mountains, go camping and organise activities much like The Amazing Race. He has reached impressive speed in mid-air, after flying down steep hills on a skateboard. When on holidays, Dad always has the snorkelling gear packed.
My Dad really just looks at things in a way that encourages imagination, excitement and fun. I remember going camping in the backyard when I was about six years old because, why not? Ten year later, when hiking along the New South Wales coast, carrying everything on our backs, Dad had us climbing trees along the way. My Dad taught me that even if experiences we face seem challenging or daunting, you can always find a sense of adventure to go alongside it. This also allows us to live in a way that is not fearful of unexpected things that God may call us to. It encourages us to embrace and appreciate the variety and beauty of experiences in life.
Make your time with Jesus more than a scheduled activity
Amongst all of the other memories of my Dad that I have shared with you so far, his commitment to his faith stands out beyond others. Perhaps this is because of the uniqueness of witnessing vulnerability before God in a father figure. This opposes the common idea of the father of the house being the key source of strength in a family, who always knows wrong from right.
However, my Dad has demonstrated that these two ideas are actually complimentary. It is because of the time that my Dad spends alone with God, praying and studying the Word, that he is able to outwork his role as a father. Despite having been a father for 21 years, my Dad continues to seek the Lord’s strength, guidance, wisdom, love, and grace as an example of how to grow and flourish in his role as a father.
This reminds me of how sometimes we are standing in a place that God has called us to long ago. So, we feel like we know the path we are on and how to best succeed in the given area. However, if you take away the time that you personally spend with Jesus, you are not going to be able to move into the greater plans that God has in store for you.
Jesus Christ lived to save us from ourselves. But also, He lived as the perfect example that we can now look to and strive for. My Dad taught me that if you are ever unsure of who you are or what you are meant to be doing, there is no need to worry. The Word of God has been gifted to us as a resource to utilise daily to help us grow closer to God through these challenges.
Brittany Geoghegan is in her final year of International Studies at the University of Queensland. Brittany continues to explore her love for the people and places that God has made. While Brittany has always been a fitness enthusiast, she is excited for the opportunity to write as part of her creative endeavours.