If Dad were still with us, today (January 15) he would be celebrating his 75th Birthday. Six months ago none of us would have ever dreamed that he would not live to see this birthday. It still seems surreal to me that he is gone. I miss him every single day and not a day goes by when I don't think about him.
I would have called Dad early this morning to say Happy Birthday to him. On a Saturday morning he may have been on his way to a Maywood Board Meeting, a Rainbow Omega Board Meeting, or a JCA Board Meeting. He might have been on his way to a workday at Roebuck Parkway or to visit someone from the church in the hospital.
He might have been studying for his Bible class, a sermon, or even getting ready for a Home Bible Study. He could have been on his way to preach in a Gospel meeting or to be a part of an Evangelistic campaign.
I would have asked Dad if he felt any older today and he would have probably laughed and said “not really.” He would have asked me about how Laura has been doing and he would have asked about the children. He would have wanted to know about his now four month great granddaughter.
We would discuss what we were going to be preaching about tomorrow. He might ask me if I had a good illustration or a good joke about some particular topic. We would talk about upcoming speaking engagements and other events.
We would have talked about Purpose Sunday at Roebuck and Lewisville. We would have discussed the upcoming FHU Lectures where we were both scheduled to speak. He would have wanted to know how things were going in my work with the Board of Trustees at FHU.
Because it would have been his birthday and because I would have called him our conversation would have been a little longer than usual. Our phone conversations were usually not very long or detailed.
There have been so many times recent months I have wanted to call Dad just to say hi. If I had had any indication that he was ill I would have called more often. I would have asked more questions. I would have worked harder to make time to spend with Dad.
Now that he is gone I feel that my role in life has changed. I will be 52 next month. I remember when Dad turned 50 and I thought he was ancient. Now I am the ancient oneJ I am now the oldest Jenkins in this part of our family and because of Dad’s passing some added responsibilities have come my way.
I am doing my best to try to do what I think Dad would have done. Dad wasn’t the kind of man who would sit you down and say this is how this needs to be done. However you could learn a boatload of knowledge just by observing his life.
I find myself being called on more and more by younger preachers, as well as elders in the church. They want to know about church work, about how to deal with some problem they are facing, and they ask about various passages of Scripture they are studying. Maybe some of them would have called my Dad. While I don’t feel that I have all the answers I am glad to offer advice and assistance as much as possible. It is a joy to be associated with so many outstanding young men. Dad used to tell me about how young preachers would come to him for help and he always tried to give them what they needed. I pledge to do the same.
I sure wish I could call Dad to say Happy Birthday and just hear his voice. That great philosopher Bear Bryant used to say, “Have you called your momma today? I sure wish I could call mine.” So if you can call your parents today I want to encourage you to do so and let them know how much you love them. I sure wish I could call mine.
Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for our families. Thank you Father for giving us our parents. We thank you for the legacy they have established for us. Help us Lord, to let them know how thankful we are for them as often as we can. Help us to show them our love by what we do for them and by what we say to them. Help us to build good memories and help us to be thankful for the memory of those who have gone on before us. In Jesus Blessed Name we pray, Amen.