My dad turns 70 today. It doesn’t seem like it. I used to think 70 was really old, but he doesn’t seem “old”; perhaps that is because he doesn’t act old. He still works a 40-hour a week part-time job. He plays golf. He keeps up with technology. He drives a convertible. No, he doesn’t act “old” at all.
More than these outward signs, he is still compassionate, articulate and witty. He truly cares about the folks he ministers to and loves the church, which he serves. Growing up in a parsonage wasn’t always easy. You tend to be put on a pedestal and required to live up to other’s standards, but my father has never thought like that. He has always been his own person and allowed us; even celebrated, our individuality.
Memories I cherish with my dad are as deep as they are wide. I remember going with him to watch the Cardinals play at Busch Stadium, or tagging along to church softball games. We’ve watched Cornhusker football together. He is the reason I understand golf and hockey. His one failure was attempting to teach me to drive a standard transmission; to preserve our sanity and relationship he was wise enough to release me into the hands of a friend for instruction.
I know he prays for us, he continually guides our family spiritually and then without fear has released us to become who God has intended us to be. He has always been and continues to be my best council, chief supporter and biggest fan. He has loved our mother in a way that demonstrates undying love. He cares for his ailing mother with compassion and strength. How wonderful is that? But the greatest gift my father has ever given to me is the capacity to love people, to forgive without requiring penance, and to be devoted to God first and foremost.
So today I honor his love, his life and his ministry. Happy Birthday Dad!
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