Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thanks Dad & Mom

Forty-seven years ago I came into the world at the hospital in Primghar, Iowa. I shared the story of my birth on my blog last March 3. My wife, Amy, has taught me that the people who are forgotten in a birthday are the parents. My parents were far from perfect, but my sister and I both have benefited from their parenting skills. Today I want to acknowledge two things my parents did two things well.

1. They always took my sister and I to church. I didn’t like going to church when I was a child. I have great respect right now for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington, Minnesota, but as a child I found it to be very cold. I went to Sunday School and sat in cold chairs in a cold room, and listened to cold people lecture from the Bible. When I went to worship I was expected to sit still, listen to the sermon, and try to understand words that were way over my head. No child care, no children’s bags, no children’s time, no getting up to share the love of God. The church wasn’t kid friendly. I didn’t like to go, but my parents always took my sister and I to church. It would have been more convenient for them to skip church—they wouldn’t have to listen to my raucous complaining about going to church. They endured—and today my sister and I are Presbyterian pastors.

I’ve always believed that the decision for a child’s participation in church is up to the parent. Going to church is not like attending a precinct caucus. Nobody should take a vote in a household on whether to attend church. If the parent wants the child to attend, then the child will attend—no matter the preference of the kid.

I apologize in advance if I sound harsh. I’m not intending to sound harsh. I just want to thank my parents for not taking a vote in the Moore household about whether I should have attended church.

2. My parents supported me in what I wanted to do
Besides forcing me to go to church, my parents supported and helped me live out my interests. In Junior High I became passionate about playing the violin. The best violin teacher lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota—60 miles away. My dad got out of bed early on a Saturday morning, so we could leave the house at 7:30 a.m. so that I could take violin lessons. He gave up almost most of his Saturdays so I could play in youth orchestra and then have a violin lesson. We would get back to Worthington at 4:00. That was how we lived our Saturdays during the school year for four years. Without their support I never would have learned to play the violin or learned the discipline it takes to succeed at a craft.

On this 47th anniversary of my birth, I am a blessed person. My parents helped make it so.

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