Posted by: Jeff Warren | June 20, 2007

Dads: Be there.

During the summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain in 1992, one of track and field’s most memorable events took place.  Derek Redmond, from Great Britain, was running the race of a lifetime in the 400 meters.  He was coming around the last turn when he felt (and heard) his hamstring pop.  He fell face down on the track in excruciating pain.  He immediately tried to get up- what he called later, “animal instinct”- and, in a crazed attempt to finish the race he hobbled on one leg toward the finish line.  The crowd rose to its feet.  Out of the crowd came a large man in a T-shirt, pushing security guards aside.  It was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father.  He ran out on the track and held his son in his arms and said, “Derek, you don’t have to do this.”  Derek said, “Yes I do.”  “Then we’re going to finish together”, his father said.  Jim held his son, with his head in his chest most of the way, as both of them wept together toward the finish line.  As they crossed the finish line, the crowd roared… then wept as well.  Derek left Barcelona, not with the gold medal he had dreamed of, but with the memory of father who came out of the stands to help his son finish the race.  What a powerful picture of fatherhood.  In fact, it sounds a lot like what God has done for us in Christ. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  Jesus came out of the stands of heaven to help us finish the race.Dads, are you “in the stands” watching your child from afar as they hobble toward the finish line?  Or are you in the race with them, comforting them, holding them when necessary, as you guide them to the end.  Many dads start out well with their kids.  Few dads truly help their kids finish strong.  What will be your legacy?  Dad, get in the game.

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