Several years ago there was an interesting story about Phil Neikro in Sports Illustrated magazine. As some of you know, Phil Neikro pitched for many years with the Atlanta Braves and after that with the New York Yankees.
In one section of the article, the author talked about Phil Neikro’s father, Phil Neikro, Sr. This is what he said:
Phil Neikro, Sr. worked in the Lorain Coal and Dock Mine in Blaine, Ohio. Every day he would go six or seven miles into the hills with his lunch pail, from 7:00am to 4:00 in the afternoon, for $2.00 a day. “He’d be totally black,” says Phil, Jr. “We’d be sitting in the driveway with our gloves, waiting for him to come home. He’d put his bucket down, and we’d play catch. Summer nights, we didn’t eat until 9:00pm, and Mom and Phyllis and Jo, until he was old enough to play, would sit on the porch and watch us. Sometimes Dad was so tired he’d fall asleep on the floor, BUT HE ALWAYS HAD TIME FOR US.”
“He always had time for us.” Today is Father’s Day, the day we set aside to pay tribute to our fathers. One of the characteristics of a loving father is that a loving father always makes time for his children. A loving father makes time, takes time, to be present with his children. It’s my feeling in this hectic, hurried world in which we live that we have to be intentional as parents to make sure there is a special time set aside as family time to be present with our children, and that absolutely nothing should be allowed to interrupt that special time.
One of the characteristics of a loving father is that he is present with his children. There are others. I’m sure you’ve thought of many. Today is an important time for us to be present together as we are reminded that our Heavenly Father is present with us.
Cliff C. Wright, Jr.