published Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Nell Mohney: Earthly fathers can disappoint, but our heavenly Father is there

Nell Mohney

From my observation, most of us enter adulthood with a blueprint in our minds of how our life's journey will run. Yet, we don't go very far before we encounter a detour or a dead-end street.

Some people fall apart when that happens. Others, with the help of God, walk through their dilemma and go on to happiness and productivity.

One such person is John Trent, Christian counselor and author. In his book, "Wilderness Years," he tells of growing up with a dream. His dream was that one day the telephone would ring, and it would be his father. He and his brother, Jeff, had been only two months old when his father left. They were in high school when the actual call came.

The call came out of the blue with no warning and no apology for all the years the father hadn't called or come by.

The message: "Zoa, this is Joe. I live near the stadium where the boys are playing, and I'd like to come meet them. Is that alright?"

John reports that the newspaper, a few days earlier, had carried a front-page article with the headline, "Jeff and John Trent -- Twin Starters for the Mighty Titans." The article had prompted the call. The father said that he would watch the boys play and then meet them on the field.

John reports, "The night before the game, I hardly slept. Kickoff finally came, and the game seesawed back and forth. Our team lost, but Jeff and I played our hearts out, not for the school, but for our dad. We wanted him to be proud.

"While fans streamed from the stands, my mother, older brother, Jeff and I searched in vain for a father who cared. My father didn't show." That night became a wilderness experience for John. He was filled with rage. He began to drink heavily and lash out in anger and rebellion.

It was a tall, muscular Young Life leader who saw John's real need and introduced him to the Father who never leaves us standing alone.

Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leaders. She can be reached at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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