November 28, 2011
During a car ride to my churchs Thanksgiving eve service, my 26 year-old son, Justin, told me that he knew that sometimes it must be especially challenging to keep motivated doing the work that I do. But, he offered that he wanted to encourage me to keep doing it. He said that I have touched so many through my time at NFI. He also said that it really matters that I have been a father-figure for several of his friends. And, interestingly, it really meant a lot to him that I attended nearly all of his football games, from Pop Warner through college. He said, Dad, you are laying up treasure in heaven
Then, as we were cleaning up from Thanksgiving dinner, my 29 year-old son, Jamin, told me that so many of his many friends tell him that they dont really know their parents. He offered that their parents spent so much time working to give his friends material things that they failed to give them the most important thing of all their time. He said, Dad, you struck the right balance
Kids do say the darndest things.
Ironically, my sons comments could not have been better timed. You see, I turned 50 years old in October and, frankly, I have been reflecting quite a bit about the choices that I have made in my life, especially when it dawned on me that I likely have more yesterdays than tomorrows. I have often wondered if I have invested my life wisely so far. Social change, like parenting, is hard work that requires steadfastness.
Alas, one can grow weary of doing good, no matter the rightness of the cause. So, it was good to hear this type of affirmation from my sons. Their words were a tremendous encouragement to me and I am hopeful that they will serve as a motivation for other dads, especially those with young children, who read this.
As I am fond of saying, kids spell love T-I-M-E. And I know that being a dad, at times, can seem like a thankless job. But if you hang in there and choose to be a father who provides, nurtures and guides, there is a wonderful treasure that awaits you.
And for this, like me, you will be thankful.