What does Father’s Day mean to you? Your thoughts about fatherhood are greatly shaped by the older men in your life. Whether that be your father, grandfather, an uncle, step-father, or other male role model. For me, the older men in my life, and the attributes they displayed, helped to shape who I am today. Here’s what I’ve learned from the fathers in my life.
From my grandfather, I learned to appreciate what we have, no matter what God has given us and to be happy in the moment. He had suffered a stroke in his mid-50s only to spend the rest of his life sitting in a chair looking out the window over the Columbia River. He could not speak, barely walked, and had a fairly limited life, yet he was so positive and interested in all that occurred around him. We get so busy trying to do everything, see everything, and have everything that we really do not enjoy what we have. Grandpa taught me to be happy with what was, no matter what it was.
2. Be Patient
3. Be Kind
4. Always Do Your Best
From my father, I learned the importance of being patient and kind. Whether fixing an engine, tying a knot, or building a project…to him being exact was more important than being done. For me there is so much to do, and so little time that I often sacrifice perfection for completion. Why do we let the busyness of life drive us to accept less? My father would never cut in front of someone. Seldom did I hear him criticize or demean his neighbor. He is a gentle man who is always willing to wait.
5. See the Beauty in Nature
My maternal grandfather, Jenkins, had a dahlia garden that would rival most any you would find. From him, I learned the love of nature. He loved his flowers and the potential beauty that each of them created. So I too have grown to love my yard, its endless beauty and mystery, and how God is always present there.
What have you learned from the older men in your life? If you lack good example, if you can’t reflect on those ahead of you with positivity, don’t let the past dictate your life and what you model to those who follow. Someone’s watching you and learning from you. What are you teaching them?
So, this Father’s Day I hope you find inspiration to be a leader, a leader to the young men who follow you. Without the older men, who made a difference to me as a young boy growing up, I would not always try to do my best. I would not be as patient. I would not have the capacity for kindness. I would not be happy with what I have and my circumstances. I would not see the beauty in nature that is all around me. This is the legacy that the fathers in my life have given to me!
You too are living and leaving a legacy. Congratulations on the father you are!