DSC_0071All too often we move through the routines of life and never reflect on what’s truly important – even on Father’s day. We send our cards, make our phone call, share a beer or brisket from the smoker, but even then, it’s easy to go through the motions never stopping to really say how I feel about being your son.

Well, here it is.

I am so grateful that you are my dad. Out of all the dads that I could have had, I really think I got the best one. When interviewing for my first placement as a pastor I remember sitting with the search committee answering a variety of questions. Most of them were about theology or ministry, but then came the question, “Who’s your hero?”

With out missing a beat and with assured confidence I said, “My dad.” And here is why.

I’ve always been impressed with you adventurous spirit. There’s never been a challenge to big for you. Whether it’s hiking fourteeners in Colorado, adding a two-story addition to the house (doing all the work yourself no less), quitting a successful job with great financial security to go to seminary and become a pastor, or taking in four elderly parents to see them to the end of their lives. You meet challenges with determination, strength and desire to see them through. You’re not a quitter. You are inspired to do things from which others would shrink bad. In the process, whether you realized it or not, you taught us not to be afraid but to stretch ourself beyond what we think we can do.

You also demonstrated a strong work ethic. Staying up late, getting up early, going the extra mile, you always put in the necessary work to get the job done and to complete it with excellence. You worked hard and were always recognized and respected for your leadership.

But it’s not your work ethic, your accomplishments or your leadership that have shaped me the most, but your character and your priorities.

You always put us (your family first). From turning down jobs for more money, or jobs in other parts of the country where you have rather lived, you sacrificed your own desires for us. Not only did you sacrifice, but you always served us. Whether it be the simple gesture of making coffee or meal, getting the family out of the door to church on time, packing and unpacking the car for road trips and vacations, or just a simple word of encouragement when we needed it most. You put us first through sacrifice and service.

You also demonstrated incredible patience with us. It was ok for us not to get things right the first time or to make a mistake and even break something along the way. You always realized that the process was more important than the destination and demonstrated immense patience along the way. You were never controlled by anger but had a calm spirit that infused our home with peace.

You also demonstrate a genuine humility, both in your service to the family, but also in continuing to be a learner/student. You readily recognize that others have more knowledge, expertise or skill in a certain area, and you are never to proud to place yourself beneath them in order to learn from them. It doesn’t matter their race, gender or age, you are always willing to say, “Please teach me.” It has been my joy to be your coach and cheerleader in this season of your life as you have stepped into a new calling and vocation. You are doing an amazing job and have a bright future ahead.

But, even in light of all of this, the thing that has been the most inspiring has been your continual pursuit of growing in Christ. Your desire to know his word, give the remainder of your days to build up the body of Christ, and your willingness to serve his Kingdom in any capacity is an example that more people need to see.

There are so many more thing that could be said about who you are and the wonderful things you’ve done. Your sense of humor. The freedom you gave me to be me – never trying to tell me what I should do with my life, but again serve as a coach along the way. Your creativity in fostering relationship with different people. Your love for the Broncos. Your desire to connect in genuine and real ways. The way you serve and care for my family… The list goes on and on.

I know plenty of people out there who would kill to have a dad like you. I will consider myself as a dad to be a success if I can become half of the dad/man who you are. I am incredibly grateful and fortunate to have you as a dad and couldn’t ask for anything more.

Happy Father’s Day.

I love you dad.