Poor Substitutes

Poor Substitutes

 The scene: The green and yellow (blech) of the Packers mixed with the lime green and dark blue (blech) of the Seahawks in a huge scrum in the corner of the end zone Monday night. For about 30 seconds that small piece of real estate was possibly the most violent place on the planet. The players wrestled, jostled, pulled, and tugged at the precious oblongated spheroid. A replacement referee, obviously on loan from a K-Mart or McDonalds somewhere, signaled touchdown. Meanwhile, another referee, who obviously was only there since he already had the shirt from a previous stint at Foot Locker, signaled for an interception. In the end, a bad call was made, and the Packers lost the game.

Now, I am a Bears fan, so anytime the Packers lose it’s okay with me. But even I have to admit that the Packers got robbed.

The replacement officials are a problem for the NFL this year. They are taking the place of the real referees who have been locked out by the NFL. The two sides can’t agree on issues, so the refs got locked out. For the first three games of this year, and for the foreseeable future, the real refs have been replaced by well-meaning–but not well-officiating–replacements who simply look the part.

When I was eight my father left our house for good. He and my mom had issues, they couldn’t work them out, and he left. I’ve never really picked sides in their quarrel, I don’t know all of the things that went into it, and I don’t really care. I just know what happened to me. At eight years old I became the man of the house. Just like the replacement refs, I didn’t make the situation, I just stepped into shoes that I couldn’t fill.

Over the years, there were men who stepped up and impacted my life. Floyd Bogart was an amazing man who stepped in when I needed a male influence. Jack Dunnam put me through the “washing machine” and taught me what being a man looked like. My uncle and grandfather, both named Bill Brewer, showed me love, compassion, and shared their love of God and ministry with me. I have tried to live my life in such a way to honor all of these men. I can never repay their kindness, gruffness, and encouragement.

As great as these men all were, they were not the same as having a father in my home. I grew up going to campouts and father-son banquets with other kids’ dads. I was there, but it was different, and I knew it.

There is a huge need for men to be men in our society. Men who will stick to their vows and not chase every skirt that looks appealing. Men who will be fathers to their children, impacting the lives of their kids and future generations. I was nowhere near as good a husband and father as I should have been because I missed the influence of a good man in my home day after day.

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12”

There is nothing there about letting some else do the job for you. Man up!

Thankful, but still missing something… Jerry




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