Monday, February 20, 2012

A Father's Day

The promise of spring is on the calendar and spring time is certainly a season offering new life, warmer days, and more light. Have I told you lately, I appreciate each and every one of you? I neglect the important.

I am posting a chapter from my book this morning. I have not been in the mood for writing and would certainly have had a tough time writing anything new that would add a smile or encourage. The past several weeks have been full of darkness; a past evil once again requiring time and effort but reaping few results. I believe in the principle, 'What is beyond my control is within my influence.' This round of influence has had a net zero result. That is the thing about a principle, they are not 100% true but they are generally true. I have not given up on the principle for I have many times seen it work. The good news is, my family and myself are well.
I hope you find the following story encouraging and I think it is a great example of what is beyond our control is within our influence. As you read the story, ask yourself who is watching you.
A Fathers Day

It is great to be honored by one’s own children.
Sunday was Father’s Day. My two daughters were out of town, but my son came by to see me. The conversation we had wound around through many subjects and past a few monuments. Along the trail, we came to the monument of his minor fathers, the men who impacted him in his childhood. How grateful I am for these wonderful men.
The many hours my son spent at different friend’s homes resulted in many hours of observing, or at times direct interactions, with these men. Some were good bad examples, but most were good examples. They filled in many holes and blank spots I either was incapable of teaching or just missed. Some examples were reinforcements of lessons I hoped to impart - faithfulness, loyalty, respect of women, trustworthiness, honesty, hard work, and compassion.
He talked about recently attending the celebration of one man’s 35th wedding anniversary and of the toast he gave to the man and his wife for being excellent role models in marriage. My son told me of times he noticed that Joel and Lori had disappeared on a walk, and later, they would return holding hands, smiling and talking.
I can think back to a time a father told me about working alongside his son and my son. They did yard work for many hours, and the man had given my son a compliment for being a good worker. But, I knew the real gift had been the two young boys doing hard work alongside the man, and that day was a step or two closer toward their own manhood. You see, I already knew about the many hours of work because I saw the glow on my son’s young face beaming with pride as he earlier had recounted the affirming words he had been given by the father for his hard work.
Another father was a very good business man and understood investments. Another man treated his wife badly, and my son saw the pain and the shame. Another man was a hard worker but could also play. Most of the men were good examples of living strong moral lives and being men of high character. I am thankful that my son had other men who ingrained into him what real manhood looked like.
He has these images and impressions of what manhood looks like, and now I am so proud of the man he is becoming  has become - a man of high character.
So, to the minor fathers of my son – thank you! You probably did not even know that you were being watched.