Two men in my family are in my thoughts this Father's Day weekend. Both of them are fathers who taught, and continue to teach, me the manly art of heading a household. One of them provided the example against which I have measured nearly every action in my life in general, and my home life in particular. The other man demonstrates a mastery of fatherhood upon which I marvel daily, and from which I derive a huge, if unjust, amount of personal pride. They are separated by a great generational divide, yet share more traits and characteristics than I share with either of them.
The elder of these men taught me the subtle art of bass fishing with a plastic worm, the practice of which provides a catechism for life with a woman--quiet presentation, tight line, small actions, patience, commitment. He instilled in me my respect for authority, my love of nature, and the finesse required to combine respect and love in a marriage relationship. He provided the example of selfless professional service to nation that guided every step I took in my career as a uniformed professional. From him, I have my do-the-right-thing ethos. In him, I have an example of quiet humility to which I ceaselessly and shamefully fail to measure up.
The younger of these two men, though 22 years my junior, possesses husbandly and fatherly wisdom rivaling, no, surpassing, my own. His attentiveness to his bride and their son is an amazing thing to me. Where did he learn that? I think back to the first years of his life and wonder at the grace of a God who gave him and his mother the patience and love to withstand my ignorance.
I am humbled at, and thank God for, the privilege of having these two fathers in my life. Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Son. Happy Father's Day.