Words of Hope: Intensity Considered

Many of you who read Words of Hope know my Dad. Maybe some of you have never met him. After his passing, one person who contacted me kept talking about how intense he was at camp, how much my Dad inspired and pushed him but also kind of scared him. It’s funny to hear this because I saw this big intense style, but it, in many ways, it was comforting to me. I knew my Dad would battle for what mattered. My Dad could be very intense, but I never felt scared of my Dad. I didn’t want to disappoint my Dad, not for fear of what he would do but for a deeper fear of hurting him. I valued my Dad’s intensity because it was energy directed toward improving. It was a passionate expression of his deep love. 

He was very passionate about playing basketball with heart and intensity. He HATED apathetic or unconfident basketball. He also HATED negative living and talking, complaining, and blaming. He disallowed talking behind others’ backs. He disallowed complaint without correction. Intensity of life is important for real meaning. Passivity can be an ugly way to live; avoiding confrontation is a cowardly way to live. Intensity without tenderness is unsafe. Dad was amazingly skilled at this crucible. Yes, he could be intense, but he was intensely loving. He faced conflict with courage and with skill. My Dad was extremely flexible in his intensity. I could easily say, “Dad, you are being too intense,” and for the most part, he would immediately soften. Intensity was part of his huge heart. I honor Dad for this.

 “Do not lag behind in diligence, be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” – Romans 12:11