Maybe I just need to workout more, or take my fish oil, but I’ve been a lot more introspective lately. I’ve often thought lately about all that God has blessed me with and what He’s called Cindy and I to and today, on Father’s Day…am thankful.
I’m thankful for my Dad today. There’s so many things that my Dad has taught me about life in general that I use on a daily basis. I always loved as a kid going into town with my Dad. We’d stop by his usual spots: the John Deere house, Walker’s Auto Parts, the Chevrolet House, and depending on the time of the day we’d either stop for breakfast at the Corner Stop for breakfast burritos (be there by 8:00 or they would be gone!! Best breakfast burritos ever!), or to the Dairy Treat for a burger. What I remember most about those times is that no matter where we went in town, people liked and respected my Dad. We’d walk through the door and everyone would be like “Hey Hag!!” (all the guys at the John Deere house nicknamed him Hag ). We’d hang out for awhile and I’d just sit there quietly (hard to believe I know!) and just listen to my Dad talk on and on about all the things that he and his friends were passionate about. My Dad was always so good at making whoever he was talking to feel like he was really interested in them and really care what was going on with them and their families. Dad’s a quiet guy (except with me) so people always listened when he talked.
This weekend at Gateway Church, the sermon (taught by David Smith) was about being a person of integrity. I thought of my dad when he was teaching this and thought about a poem I wrote back in college about my dad that I had framed and gave to him. I wanted to share it with you…:
True Measure of a Man
What is it in a man that inspires people to admire him, adore him, and want to grow up to be just like him?
What is it in a man that earns that trust, earns the friendships that helps him along his life’s road, and above all else earns him love?
Is it his money, his fame, or the name he was born with??
I say it is none of these.
I say a man who has earned his trust, loyalty, honor, and even his love in these ways has earned them in vain for in the end they will mean nothing to him.
The true measure of a man, the thing found in him which draws people to him in a way they could never explain or understand, is found deep within his heart, in the very depths of his soul.
It is seen each day in his actions as God takes him by the hand and he takes one more step down the road to his destiny.
It is seen in the little things. It is seen in his smile, a soft touch, or a kind word as he passes you in the hall or on the street.
It is seen in a letter or an unexpected phone call just to let you know that he’s thinking about you.
Or it is seen in as simple an action as a gentle hug to warm you heart and brighten your day.
So you ask again, “What is it in a man that earns, inspires, and demands trust, honor, and love; the things that are so diligently sought after by so many, but found by so few?”
I tell you that the thing inside a man that brings him these gifts from those around him is the amount of each he holds within himself.
To receive trust, you must learn to trust others with your life.
To receive friendship, you must be a great friend yourself.
To receive loyalty, you must prove and show yourself to be loyal.
And to receive the greatest gift of all, love, you must first give love, and give it freely.
A man that has earned these virtues, has sought after them and has found them, and most importantly has shared them with those around him, he is a man that will have all of these treasures given back to him, given back to them in full.
May I be such a man.
As I re-read what I wrote back in my freshman year in college, it really hits me…my heavenly father meets and exceeds all of those needs. 1 John 4:19 says “We love Him because He first loved us” Christ loves us first and offers us his love freely.
I’m thankful today for my Dad. He’s a man of integrity and has taught me what it means to honor and love other people. He’s taught me what it means to work hard for what you have and to appreciate it. He’s taught me not to settle for second best or being “just good enough”. One of my favorite quotes growing up that was our mantra was “I’d rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity.” That just about sums it up. Dad continues to live by what he taught me as a kid.
Now as a father myself, I have the chance to pass on the virtues to Harper, my son. I pray every day for grace and wisdom to do the job I’ve been called to do with him and to raise him as a mighty man of God, warrior for the cross.
I’ve got big shoes to fill, but I think I’m up for the challenge.
So what are you thankful for about your Dad this Father’s Day? Don’t you think you should tell him?