“Father’s Day–An Investment of Integrity!”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
Over the years, I’ve archived many fascinating stories used for sermon illustrations. The following is one of them. For those of you old enough to remember, I’m convinced that it was from a radio broadcast of the late Paul Harvey. And for those of us fortunate enough to be fathers, may it challenge us all to make an investment of integrity for our own children.
A century ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. He was notorious for everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder. And Capone had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie” who was his lawyer for a good reason. Everybody knew that Eddie’s legal skills kept Capone out of jail for a long, long time. Showing his appreciation, Capone paid his lawyer very well. Get this. That lawyer’s large fenced-in mansion occupied an entire Chicago city block! Thus, Eddie the lawyer found himself living the high life of the Chicago mob.
Nevertheless, “Easy Eddie” did have one soft spot: his only son that he dearly loved. Ironically, Eddie also felt a very strong impulse to teach that son right from wrong. And that was a huge problem for a man who knowingly worked for an infamous gangster. You see, even “Easy Eddie” knew that his hypocrisy would undermine his specific parenting goal. And so, following an intense internal struggle, Eddie reached a fateful decision. He would right his wrongs by turning in his boss, Al Capone. As expected, his life would soon end in a blaze of gunfire on the streets of Chicago. His action proved to be an ultimate investment of integrity done for the sake of his own son.
Fast forward in time. Almost two decades later, a young fighter pilot in World War II was assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. While in flight, that pilot suddenly noticed that his fuel gauge was near empty. Someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank prior to his flight. And so, reluctantly, he dropped out of formation to head back to the fleet. Folks, what happened next could best be described as a miracle in naval aviation history.
At the same time of his return, nobody knew about an entire squadron of Japanese aircraft poised to attack the fleet. Radar in those days was very inadequate. And so, unfortunately for the Americans, their fleet was completely defenseless. It was now too late to radio for help. Help could not come quickly enough. Except for that one unexpected returning pilot. Picture it. Against all odds, it was that one American pilot against dozens of enemy aircraft. And, folks, it was enough! Amazingly, that entire Japanese squadron fled!
I’ll conclude by asking this question: Is there any value in the investment of integrity? Who was that courageous pilot mentioned above? A pilot named Butch O’Hare. That’s right. The Chicago airport was named after him. Folks, Butch O’Hare was “Easy Eddie’s” son! Happy Father’s Day!