Archive for February, 2015

Conversations With My Dad

Every year I do my best to go spend a week with my dad at his hunting club.  It is always a fun time and to be honest with you it is not about harvesting a deer (that is simply the cherry on top).  Over the past few years, it has simply been a great time to have a conversation with my dad.

I am reminded of this verse as my years on this earth go by.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

While growing up in a very loving home with my older brother and sister, I never thought about all the things I had and all the things we did as a family.  I just enjoyed the ride if you will.  I was the kid in the candy store that never wondered how I got the candy.  Every year we went on a vacation, usually for two weeks, and it was either a camping trip or to Gulf Shores Alabama.  Again I never thought about how we did it, I just knew when we loaded the car (those old station wagons), I got in the “very back” and enjoyed the ride.  Next stop for me was a new and exciting place to play and enjoy for a few weeks.  It meant ice cream, eating out, cooking out and so much more.  I was a child, what did I have to worry about anyway, I was reaping the benefits that my dad was giving me.  Sure is fun being a child isn’t it?

But then something happened, I graduated high school and life was staring me in the face and jobs in 1982 were scarce in Birmingham.  My dad “tolerated” my non employment for a few months, and then the question was asked “son, what are you planning on doing with your life?”  BAM……childhood officially over.  Should have been over a few years before this, but I never really gave that much thought.  So away I went to begin my 21 year U S Navy career.

Over those years, my dad was always there for me, providing me with sound advice full of wisdom, my downfall was I didn’t always listen (just like most of you didn’t listen to your parents either).  So mistakes were made and consequences came with those mistakes.  I was in my 30 years when I realized my dad was the smarted man on the earth.  My education was maturing that no college could ever provide.

Now back to the hunting club and my continuing education.  I asked my dad on my most recent “Dad, how did you do it?  We went on trips every year; we had wonderful birthdays and Christmas’s.”  His answer didn’t surprise me; it was just something I never thought about, even though I grew up watching it.  He told me he worked overtime every chance he could and on Saturdays when the chances came along.  Funny thing is I use to get to go to work with him on some of those Saturday’s and never realized, he was doing that for me (and my mom, brother and sister).  You see what I mean about When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child….  I know this……MY DAD IS THE GREATEST!  He worked hard and I reaped the benefits.  He gave and gave and gave, because I am his son.  He did all of this because he loves me.  He never told me why he worked late, sometimes all night, or why he had to work a Saturday and we couldn’t go dove hunting that day.  But now I know… is called LOVE.  All I can say now is “Dad, thank you for the best education you gave me without ever stepping foot on college campus”

My conversations with my dad mean the world to me; my regret is waiting so long to ask.  He has always been there and willing to tell me, I just never asked.  So familiar?  yet ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).  God stands ready to answer you also, when will you ask Him?  I just had to get to this point in my life…. but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Life means growing up and learning from those who have paved the way before us and then teaching those behind us that life is not easy and hard work is required.  One day you will reap the benefits, but the “sower” has to sow the seeds in order to get the harvest.

I can’t wait to have more conversations with my dad and to have these conversations with my children.