I am thankful for my father, in the many forms he has taken in my life over the years. As I reflect on our relationship, I think of my own relationship with my children, and now grand children as well.
As we grow, our posture changes with those close to us. As we learn from one another we allow space to become what God intends of us. And before we know it, those we looked up to stand with us, and may need us to help them continue standing. Those who looked up to us, should at some point stand eye to eye.
I look back over my childhood and adolescent years, sometimes with regret over how some parts of my history were worked out. But I also know there were many life-shaping moments that were lived out, created, and just simply discovered. It is helpful for me to look back and see how differently I responded to dad through the years, and how our relationship changed.
- When I was quite young, I got to ride around on the sales truck with dad, going from farm to farm. He was my hero.
- When I was a little older, I got to figure out his bills and be challenged in my thinking. He was my sparring partner.
- When I was a teen, I did not appreciate the choices he had made in life, and rejected him. He was my nemesis.
- As a young adult I sought his advice from a distance, as a young man and father. He was my mentor.
- Now, I play cards with him and discuss life in a totally different place. He is my friend.
We leave a legacy by living and going about life; we impact those who watch us. (I preached this middle section about 11 years ago, and of course was choked up for most of it)
Regardless of your relationship with your father, I hope this is a time where you grasp the opportunity to show gratitude for the many faces God has graced your path with, and grow in how you can do the same for someone else.