Happy Father’s Day!

This Father’s Day, I encourage you to think about your father and find one thing he gave you as a gift. Some of you will think of many things, others will struggle. Regardless of how good or bad you felt your father was, our commandment is to honor our fathers in whatever way we can.

At this writing, my father is 97-years-old. It’s a blessing to still have him in my life. He gave me much!

So many fond memories flood my mind when it comes to my dad. Hardworking, steady, strong and fun… my dad taught me so much.

He taught me how to relax, to go on vacation and see the country. Every summer, the family loaded up in our big Buick and discovered America. Some discoveries were a little cheesy, but most times, we were awed by our road trips and their adventures.

My dad had an upbeat attitude. He liked to explore, to see new things, and to meet people. In our small town, everyone knew him and greeted him by name. My dad gave me a love for people and connection.

My dad gave me security. He was always there and attended every recital, play and music competition in which I performed. He never complained, even though I often noticed him napping during long piano recitals. He endured nightly music practices of three children who turned out to be decent musicians even though he didn’t have much musical talent. Whatever we did, it was important for him to support us. And he always supported my mom.

My dad pushed me. Sometimes I think he pushed too hard, but I knew his intent was to give me more opportunities than he had in his life. Education was one of the most important things to him. It was the key to making a better life. He was right.

Finally, my dad gave me an appreciation for the church. He quietly served in whatever capacity needed. His humility and steady devotion marked his walk with God. And no matter the conflicts a church family presents, he taught me to love the body of Christ, appreciate their diversity and do my best to bring unity. And when we had differences with church leadership, he taught our family to stay with those who struggled and work through conflicts.

All dads have their issues and aren’t perfect. But this Father’s Day, as you honor your dad with a special gift, a dinner out or a new tie, take a moment to reflect on the gifts he gave you. What did your Father give you? What lessons did you learn? Yes, there may be some baggage unloaded along the way, but the journey offers something to be appreciated.

Lessons from dad

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