Amidst unpacking boxes this past Saturday, I read a wonderful article about Father’s Day wisdom. Folks at the Star Tribune asked people for the best wisdom they had received from their father. There is some good stuff at: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/style/48614502.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU
That got me to thinking about the best wisdom I received from my father. If you asked him what was the best advice he gave to me, I'm sure he he would quickly say that I never followed his advice. I’ve heard the same story more than once about how he wanted me to be a teacher and not a pastor, how he had reservations about my going to Plainview, and how he has stopped giving me advice because I don’t follow it.
He’s mostly right—I am an independent thinker—mainly because my parents taught me to be.
My dad had more influence on me through his example rather than him sharing any specific pearls of wisdom. Oh sure, I can hear his voice saying, “that’s life,” when something went wrong. But he wasn’t one to pound his philosophy of life into me. That’s probably good as I usually resist things that are pounded into me.
The best thing my parents did was to encourage my sister and me to become the people that we wanted to be. When I was in 7th grade I wanted to take violin lessons in Sioux Falls, South Dakota—60 miles from Worthington. My Dad became the primary chauffeur. Every Saturday morning for almost four years we would go to Sioux Falls. We would leave at 7:30 a.m. He would wait while I rehearsed for three hours with a Youth Symphony, go t lunch with me, then wait as I had a hour lesson. We would get home around three or four in the afternoon. That was quite a commitment of his time. Then when my violin teacher moved, he and my mom allowed me to drive to the Twin Cities to take violin lessons.
They always supported my dreams and ambitions. What a wonderful gift!