He was a great man of God. His conviction that God is real radiated from deep within his soul and infected everyone around him. His preaching entranced the hearer and lifted us all to a higher plane of perception. He has now gone on before us to meet face-to-face the One for whom he lived.

           He was a man devoted to his family. His sons and grandsons knew him as Doo Dad. Rarely did he miss one of their sporting events.

           At his funeral his first son told a story of running track in High School. Not being a fast runner he went in for the long distance events instead. The training was intense, the rigor unbearable, and the final quarter mile always his biggest challenge. In an early meet, as he entered the stadium for one final lap before the finish line, he actually quit running and found himself sitting on the infield grass. “What happened? Why did you quit running?” Doo Dad asked. “I’m not sure. My legs hurt so bad I couldn’t go on. I forgot where I was. I just quit.”

           From that day forward, as any one of his sons or grandsons approached the stadium, Doo Dad got out of the stands, entered the infield and waited. As the son approached the final quarter mile Doo Dad began to whistle. A loud, shrieking, relentless whistle to remind the runner where he was, what he was doing, and that the race was almost over. It worked. None of Doo Dad’s sons-or grandsons-ever quit a race again.

           “I am entered in the endurance race called life,” said the son to the funeral crowd. “I’m running for my life. My race is almost over. I don’t have to win-I just have to finish. I can hear Doo Dad’s whistle now. See him jogging alongside me there in the infield. He’s urging me on, one foot in front of the other, you can do it.”

           When our feet grow heavy, our legs seem limp, and we want to quit, I pray that God will help us all to hear Doo Dad’s whistle and to remember that other mere mortals have done what we are being asked to do-to live by faith and to finish the race.