Two pharmacists recently asked me, “Are you from the South?” and “Did you come from a military family?” My answers were, “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am.”
Apparently, my use of sir and ma’am is fairly distinctive. When I say the phrases, I never really think about it, but it is a byproduct of how I was raised.
In my household, you used the terms to show respect (even when you felt they didn’t deserve it) to those in authority or just older than you. It was a lesson they instilled in my siblings and I and one not soon forgotten.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This week was the first week of school for many, and it is another year where our children are closer to leaving home.
Two of our youth at the church are starting their first year at university; they will go and become their own person, just as I did when I was their age. I know during that time of growth I made some mistakes, but in the end I remembered what my parents taught me.
I am still my own man, different from my parents, but I still hold many of the same values that I was taught, just as these two youth, or rather young adults, will remember the teachings of their parents.
Published in Delta Optimist September 6 2013
Photo Credit 竜次 ryuuji
My dad is turning the big 6-0 this coming Sunday. I have started to notice how much he has changed over the years. I look at his grey hair and wonder how much of it I caused. I know it is hard to believe I could cause stress to anyone, but I, too, was once a headstrong and stubborn teenager.
My dad would attempt to impart his wisdom on me. At first he knew everything, but then as I began to age and know everything, he seemed to know far less. It’s odd how that happens.
In all of my teenage years, he would try to share his wisdom but I “knew” better and would go off and make countless mistakes. When I returned, he would simply help me pick up the broken pieces. I knew right and wrong, he had taught me, yet I did my own thing.
My dad’s actions remind me of God’s. God has given us the Bible. In it are things that we should and should not do, yet I still find myself breaking them. Thankfully, in the Bible there is not just a bunch of rules, or commandments, I have to follow, but there is this wonderful thing called forgiveness. God helps me pick up the pieces and says to me, I love you son, you’re still my child, I forgive you.
Happy 60th birthday, Dad!
Published in Delta Optimist August 9 2013
Photo credit Tampa Band Photos