My pastor growing up also happened to be my grandpa. No one influenced my spiritual life more than him.
All four years of college Grandpa drove my friend and me to Daytona Beach during spring break to escape the cold weather and rigors of academia to bake in the sun with a few thousand other students. While Grandpa found a spot to camp, my friend and I pooled our money and got a motel. Grandpa was quite content to visit us on the beach each day. Little did he know, little did I know, of the enormous investment he was making in me.
As I look back on those years, it’s only now I recognize how susceptible I was to influences of the world. Although I professed Christianity, my faith throughout those undergraduate years was beginning to be tested. I would soon face temptations to compromise around every corner. It wouldn’t be until the end of graduate school that my faith became my own.
I’ve often wondered why I didn’t fall away. I think it had a lot to do with those spring breaks. Oh, not the trips themselves, but their representation of my grandpa’s unconditional love, and in turn, God’s. It’s a lot harder to reject God when you have seen him so clearly through one of his servants.
Proverbs tells us the righteous shine like the morning sun. They keep pouring out “till the full light of day.” That was my grandpa.
Thank you, Father, for the godly influences you place in each of our lives. As we recall them, may their influence encourage us to shine your light like the morning sun for those who look to us.
Throughout the Day: Make a list of five people who have influenced your life for godliness. Write down one characteristic of each that you would like to emulate.