Wednesday, April 17

Happy Birthday Dad

My dad turns 54 today. I remember growing up in Texas while my Dad went to Southwestern Theological Seminary there in Fort Worth. He would get up at 3:00am and go to work at McDonalds so he could get off early enough to get home and head to class by noon. I understand now how hard that kind of schedule is to keep, but back then it was just what Dad did, and I thought it was normal. I remember thinking it was so cool that he had keys to the building.

I went with him once. He woke me up at 3 and I stumbled out of bed and got dressed. It doesn’t really matter how hot it gets in the afternoon, it’s always cold in the early morning. I dozed on the drive up, still half asleep but not completely. When we got there I can recall how excited I was to finally see the place he worked at. I mean, you hear about what goes on at "work" and you wonder. I remember I used to visualize what the "store room" looked like. I thought it was in the basement. Maybe it was…

I spent the day helping, playing at the playground and generally experiencing what it was like to spend a whole day working. It was great. There was one summer when he arranged to have us kids help do the grounds work. We would go up there every Saturday and mow, trim, and pickup the lot. Then there was the time us three boys went with him late one night to clean up the store located on an army base. It was my first experience staying up really late. I think we got home around 2:30 or 3:00 am. It was truly awesome, as we had free reign of the soda fountain that evening.

That was a long time ago. My dad has done much in his lifetime that few people will ever get a chance to see. His attitude toward his work impressed me deeply, and the quiet way he went about everything is the model I use for how I approach most of my life. He never lost his temper, he always stopped to ask questions, and he always worked hard at what he did. Now all three of his boys are grown. The wisdom he imparted with his example is a gift I will likely never be able to repay, and something for which I am truly grateful. Thanks Dad, and Happy Birthday.