I had a friend once tell me a story about a father.
This father was no different from you. He had a wife, kids and a family full of responsibilities. Like you, he rarely had any time to himself. He worked his whole life in a factory, earning a decent wage, and that work provided a home to live in and put food on the table. Year after year, in spite of the challenges this family faced, they continued to grow closer and closer together.
Sure, there’s lots of stuff you could say this family missed out on, but they were ok with that.
They were happy just as they were.
One year, the father saved and saved, stashing away every possible penny, in order to buy his oldest son a trumpet. Seeing the look on his face as he opened this awesome gift, made this father’s joy overflow. To the son, it was a dream come true. His greatest desire was to play the trumpet. He was more passionate about music than anything else in life.
From that time on, while most kids were out riding bikes or playing ball or something like that, he could be found practicing in a room somewhere.
And as this father’s son grew older and older, he began to experience more and more success. Before he knew it, he went from playing in front of hundreds to playing in front of thousands.
Then one day he got a phone call.
His father was dying.
Naturally the son, loving his father, immediately dropped everything to be by his side.
Having arrived home just in time, the father whispered these words to his son. He said, “Son, I’m so proud of you! I never could have imagined all the places you’ve been and all the people who have heard you play. I love you so very much!”
His father died that evening.
The son began to remember back to that one christmas, when his father gave him his first trumpet. He still had that trumpet packed away somewhere. He thought he knew the sacrifice his father had made all those years ago, but it wasn’t until the funeral, that he learned the true weight of his father’s sacrifice.
With dozens of neighbors and friends all gathered around to celebrate this father’s life, it was the father’s best friend that began to tell the son a whole different story.
He congratulated the son on having just played in Paris earlier that year, and went on to tell him of just how marvelous a piano player his father was. He told him of days long ago, when the two of them would sit in front of the old piano and dream of traveling the world together, much like the son was doing now. But all that changed when the son was born.
The son couldn’t believe what he was hearing. How could he have never known? How could his father have never told him?
That’s when it hit him.
That’s when he knew just how much his father had truly sacrificed for him. And he loved him for it all the more!
The tragedy of it all.
You see I’m convinced that most of the things we think are important, really aren’t that important at all.
Most of the stuff we think matters most doesn’t really matter much at all.
And the things we place the most value on, aren’t really that valuable after all.
There are those who would try to convince you that the father’s life was tragic. That he died without having tasted success or that somehow his life had been wasted on providing for that family year after year.
But I tell you the truth, that’s not the tragedy.
Tragedy isn’t missing out on a life that matters, it’s dying never realizing the life you had, was what Christ died for! (tweetable)
Tragedy is found in perverting the argument.
To say that one means more than the other. Or that one counts more the other.
Do I believe that you should pursue your passions, and dream big dreams? Absolutely! You bet! That’s what Creating the Awesome is all about!
But here’s the necessary shift.
Your life already matters.
To live life through the lens of the gospel means to understand that you’ve been uniquely and intentionally created in the image of The Father. (Gen 1:26-27)
Experiencing that is where any awesome will come from.
That’s where it all starts.
Don’t believe me?
Then download The Awesome Manifesto and see for yourself.
What do you think, was the father’s life tragic?
Share in the comments below!