Faith is not only taught, it is caught! The truth and spiritual reality is that as a dad, my children can walk in the footsteps I will leave for them. Please allow me to illustrate this with a simple tale from my childhood growing up in the low-income housing projects in Montreal.
- It was a cold winter night as a father walked to the local bar yet again. It was Friday night and he had just cashed in his paycheck. The money burned in his pocket, and as he did every single week, he was about to drink it away. In this insane and incomprehensible moment, everything else vanished. He was unable to think of the money he would need to feed his children, and pay the rent and heating bills. The promises he had made to his wife, over and over, disappeared each time, choked by the blinding habit and the all-encompassing thirst to forget that which both disgusted and enslaved him. This man hated himself, but the voices inside always won: “It's my business; I am not hurting anybody; it's my choice; it's only a few drinks.” Suddenly, he heard a rustling sound in the silence of the cold night—the sound of soft steps in the snow. He turned around and what he saw hit him like an iron fist in the gut, taking his breath away. His son was following him and making his best effort, giving it his all, trying to put his little feet, step by step, in the imprints his daddy had left in the snow. He was walking in his dad’s footsteps.
Dear reader, each one of us is leading somebody somewhere. Some boys and girls are learning to lie, blame others, cheat, criticize, be arrogant and always look for shortcuts. But our sons and daughters can also watch us and learn to love, pray, work, worship, serve, forgive and believe. They can learn from us to speak the truth, respect people, judge people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, and to be honest, respectful to their elders, and a friend of the poor.
__________Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.