For decades, Sam Rayburn was recognized as one of the most powerful politicians in America. When asked by a reporter to recount the most important moment of his life, his thoughts went back to his father as he began to tell about the day he left his East Texas home. He was 18 years old and on his way to college. His father was a man of few words but full of wisdom.
Fathers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of their children.
Standing on the train platform, both men looked down at Sam's suitcase that was nothing more than a bundle of clothes tied together with a rope. It was obvious the family did not have much money. Sam's presence was really needed at home, but the elder Rayburn knew the opportunities awaiting his son were many and could only be experienced if he allowed his son to leave.
As the train arrived and Sam prepared to get on board, his father reached deep into his pocket and pulled out a fist full of dollars and placed them in Sam's hand. There were twenty-five single dollar bills.
"Only God knows how he saved this money," Sam later said. "We never had any extra. He barely earned enough for the family to live on. It broke me up, and I often wondered what he did without—what sacrifices he and Mother made so I could go to school."
Fathers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of their children. Always believe in your children. Help them to understand the cost of sacrifice and how it is given as an act of love—the greatest being God's sacrifice to us through the gift of His Son.
Prayer: Father, help me to be a person who reflects Your love and sacrifice to others, especially to those in my family. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"[P]arents are the pride of their children" (Proverbs 17:6).