Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Father's 89th Birthday

My father wasn't perfect, but he was ideal.  Ideal for me that is.  For a long time I didn't understand this truth.  Certainly, he could have handled things better; but there is not a father in the world, including myself, who hasn't made myriad mistakes raising his children.

I have judged him pretty harshly over the years, holding him to a pretty tough standard.  Doing so has only hurt me.

There was no owners manual that came with my model.  He had no specific reference he could look up when I ran sluggishly, broke down, had sticky brakes, or a stuck accelerator.  Neither was there a warranty on my failed paint job.  Further, he only knew how to parent from his own, limited, experience.  That method seemed to work very well when raising him; so it must work similarly with his kids.  So he used horse and buggy experience for tuning up a '56 Chev, so to speak.  In truth, each generation's experience is out of date.  Which, I believe is how God intended things to be.

Ether 12:27 explains that God gives men weakness.  I believe His number one conduit for delivering that great gift to His children is through their mortal parents.  Weakness is vital to the Plan of Happiness.  Against what will we become strong?  Against our weakness.  Today, I feel a special debt of gratitude to my imperfect father, who endowed me with weakness of my own.  And to my kind wise Heavenly Father for turning many of those weaknesses of character and prowess into vital, blessed strengths.  For me, it is not so much that I am pleased with the strengths I've been given as consequence of God's goodness, rather, I joy in the process of growth and discovery.  Central to that process has been the discovery of my utter and complete need for a Savior.  My father, in his own weakness, gave me the best possible chance to discover my need for God's Grace in my life.  Thank you Dad.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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