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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

My father, Bill McGee, passed away on May 31, 2017. He arrived at our house on Thanksgiving Day last fall, awaiting the birth of this granddaughter two weeks later and complaining of a strange rash that suddenly popped up on him. It took until March for him to be diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma. By then, it had progressed too far, and despite enduring more physical suffering than I can even appreciate and trying so very hard to fight it, he accepted the reality of his condition, said his goodbyes to us all, and let things take their course. Bart, the kids, and I were back home for his passing and the funeral and have since returned home. In the meantime, I am slowly processing through what happened and adjusting to this new paradigm. Today I wanted to write about my dad, especially in time for a bittersweet Father’s Day, and honor his life and what he meant to me and those around him.

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I’m not going to sugar-coat the facts, folks: I’ve played way more than my fair share of Candy Crush in the last year. I downloaded it out of curiosity, then found myself playing it nearly every time I sat down with my phone. I used it to pass the time when idly waiting for something. I used it as an excuse to sit down and not do anything when I was feeling tired and unmotivated. I used it to soothe myself when I was feeling sad or discouraged. I would go through spurts–sometimes I would play it less if I finally caught up with levels and was waiting for a new update. Sometimes I would play it more, striving to get to the current end as fast as I could so I felt accomplished. But I played it a lot. Very much a lot. But all that changed a couple of weeks ago, when I finally crushed the candies for good.
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Do the homework

I’ll never forget a conversation I was a part of when I was a junior in college. A group of us were hanging around after a meeting at our campus ministry one evening and talking about school. One guy (we’ll call him Jack) confided about how he was struggling a bit with his classes.

“Yeah, I know God was gracious and provided the opportunity for me to come study here at the university. I’m definitely trusting him with all my classes, but I’m actually not doing very well.”

He went on to assure us he was trusting fully on God for his success and not, for instance, on worldly activities such as doing his homework or studying. As far as I can tell, Jack was honestly confused about why he was struggling in school. It seemed completely obvious to me–you can’t just not do your homework and expect God to bail you out of a class. You had to put in the effort to study and learn on your own, and God would help you along the way.

However, I confess that I find myself doing exactly the same thing in my own life every single day.

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Most of us don’t prefer to read a story with an unhappy ending. Furthermore, to read a book knowing the ultimate demise of the main character at the start seems downright foolish. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and a biography is often an instance where we find the life of an individual worthwhile to experience all the while aware of their ultimate fate. For a couple of years now, I’ve wanted to read “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas. However, one of my gravest faults in the last few years is not reading as voraciously as I used to. I recently had a friend loan a copy to me, so I finally set out to read it.

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