Today is my dad’s Birthday. He was born April 15, 1946. He has been a part of writing a opus of his own. He has composed, as we all do, a real life series of works. Each section of his opus tells a different story, with a different rhythm, and a unique sound to that part of the masterpiece. Even though he wasn’t a music teacher, he has written and lived out a beautiful work of his own in Springhill, Louisiana. He taught at the local high school, pastored at several different churches, and invested his entire adult life serving people. There are thousands and thousands of people who have been a part of this series of works. It’s God’s work, in and through him. One life after another impacted by this masterpiece…Phillip Carroll’s Opus. Let me share a little bit of my section, which I’m thankful to say is still being written.
I could write page after page about the many stanzas in my part of this opus. I could write about how much I loved to ride and go anywhere with my dad. I could write about how he was constantly on the move working, going, or doing something all the time. (For those that know me well, I get my ADHD from him. It’s generational.) I could write about the many hours I spent in the halls of Springhill High School as a little boy after school where he taught English, Bible (Yes they used to teach Bible in the public schools), Gothic Literature, and led the Student Council for many years. I could write about sitting and listening as he shared hundreds of stories from his childhood & adult life, and how I dreamed of the day I would have my own repertoire of stories to share with my kids and others along the way. I could write about the many moments playing catch, riding to a practice or a ballgame, and how great it felt to hear my dad say “I love you, and I’m so proud of you buddy.” I still love to hear that part of the song today, and I’m so thankful to have a Dad who is still willing to say it.
I could also write page after page about the countless hours my dad spent counseling kids about their futures, pastoring churches, leading youth groups, performing marriage ceremonies and funerals, visiting homes and hospital rooms, going on mission trips, attending camp after camp, and the many prayers of faith he has offered up over the lives of so many people. There are so many sections of his opus, and each one tells a different story from a life impacted by my dad.
I am 45 years old today, and every time I’m around my dad I still feel that childlike part of me deep in my soul. Every person on the planet has a need in their life that only a Dad can meet. That’s why God gave us Dads. They are to be an example to us, as we gow up, of how we ultimately need Him more than anyone. I am learning that truth now more than ever as a husband and father. I am flawed and prone to failure. As much as I desire to fulfill and meet every need my wife and children have, I cannot do or meet any need in anyone’s life without Him. On my own I will quickly cause pain, disappointment, and hurt in the lives of my wife, children, and others around me. My opus, just like my Dad’s, can never be written, and become all it was meant to be, unless every part is centered on the grace, redemption, forgiveness, and love that only our Heavenly Father can provide for us through His Son Jesus Christ. I learned that from my dad’s opus too.
Dad, on your Birthday, I want you to know how thankful I am to be a part of yours. And there are countless others who feel the same way. I love you!