Fathers and Fathers in the Faith

"The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get." [1] Tim Russert expressed the sentiment of many of us who come to our senses late in the game: "Old guys" have a lot to offer. This is especially true of fathers and fathers in the faith. They are like the newspaper tossed on my front porch or the daily e-blast that parks in my inbox: just a wealth of wisdom and knowledge, but only IF I take the time to read.

Yesterday, I thought of Dean, my father-in-law and David, my predecessor.

Dean is the epitome of affirmation and stewardship. He loves God, God's Word, his family, and he lives out his faith on the job. Dean has eight children, thirty-three grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. He's a wise guy! David, who went to be with the Lord in January, was a make-it-happen leader who didn't tolerate dilly dallying. David defined the words, "movement leader." One of the best things about David was that his passion for action placed second to his love relationship with Jesus Christ. He was the real deal.

I haven't really walked in either man's shoes, but I have traveled their paths. The farther I journey down the road of fatherhood and the longer I serve as a senior pastor, the more I appreciate both men. These days I am interpreting their words and actions from days gone by through a different lens. The reason? I'm walking their path.

Looking back, I realize that many times I was a silent commentator on their actions rather than a careful listener to their words and the heart behind them. No wonder God says, "Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction." [1] Wisdom is calling, but I must listen to hear it.

Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: "To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Proverbs 8:1-5 ESV.

Wisdom is calling! Lord, help me listen!


[1] Tim Russert, Big Russ and Me:Father and Son -- Lesson of Life, page xi.

[2] Proverbs 4:1 ESV