Proverbs 4:1 -5:1 – Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”
Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – Like Steve Young, my dad taught my brothers and me responsibility, accountability and the importance of hard work, among many other things. I’ve tried to do the same for my son Joel. I think it took, as I am proud of the man he’s become. I never really had the opportunity to do this with Joshua, although He knew he was loved (just look at his happy face!). While I say “I,” it is really we, for dads usually do not do it on their own.
I don’t know if Joel ever thought I was ignorant or found it hard to be around his old man, I don’t think so. I know I never felt this way about my dad, and I’d love to still have him and Josh around.
I think the lesson here is to always appreciate them, cherish the time that you do have with them, and make memories. It is over way too soon. While it is important to have a strong work ethic, don’t spend all your time working and rushing around. When it is over, memories will not be all that you have. If you are or were
lucky blessed enough to have a dad like mine, He will live on not only in your memories, but in your character. And if you are or were lucky blessed enough to have sons like mine, do your best to pass along the character that you received, if not from your earthly father, then from your Heavenly Father.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Be a good father, be a good son or daughter. Learn from each other. Cherish your time together. Do not let your job or profession define who you are to such an extent that you spend your life working and rushing around. Consider your ways and be wise. Your job is there for you to make a living (and hopefully a difference), not to make it your life.
Someone Else’s Musings
At 4 years old: My Daddy can do anything.
At 7 years old: My Dad knows a lot, a whole lot.
At 8 years old: My Father doesn’t quite know everything.
At 12 years old: Oh well, naturally Father doesn’t know it all.
At 14 years old: Father? Hopelessly old fashioned.
At 21 years old: Whoa, is that man out of date. What did you expect?
At 25 years old: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
At 30 years old: It’s amazing how wise he got in the last few years.
At 35 years old: We need to find out what Dad thinks about it.
At 50 years old: What would Dad have thought about it?
At 60 years old: My Dad knew everything.
At 65 years old: I wish I could talk it over with Dad one more time.