Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day post

Gen. Robert E. Lee was one day walking through the snow. His oldest of seven children, still a lad at the time, was mimicking every step his father took; he stepped in the same footprints as his dad. General Lee later recalled, "When I saw this, I said to myself, It behooves me to walk very straight when this fellow is already following in my tracks."

That story reminds me of a poem I read many years ago. I'm not sure who the author is. The poem goes like this:

A careful man I ought to be
A little boy follows me
I dare not ever go astray
For fear he’ll go the self same way.

I must remember as I go,
Through summers heat and winter’s snow
I’m building for the years to be
The little chap who follows me

I cannot once escape his eyes,
What ere he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be
This little chap who follows me.

We all can be good examples to those around us, whether we're fathers or not. May we each recognize that there is always someone looking to our example and looking to us to be leaders. Sometimes the title of "Father" isn't alone given to one who bears children, although that's one of the most significant and important roles in life. No, sometimes "Father" is reserved for leaders, like General and later President George Washington, the Father of our Nation, or James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, or all of America's Founding Fathers.

Finally, in a society that is increasingly fatherless and too often exhibits a disturbing trend of cultural emasculation towards men and boys, let us remember to rise up and be the kind of men and fathers whom our mothers would be proud to call sons.

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