Archive for September, 2009

Your shoe size and success

Recently, as we were driving home from church, my son, sitting in the back seat, was contemplating his shoe size. Reading the tag under the tongue of the shoe, he observed that in Britain his shoe was a 6.5, in the US a 7.5, in Asia a 26, and in Europe it was a 40.5. For a second he was silent, then he commented “in Europe, my shoe is sure big.”DSC00850

Although he knew it was the same size in all countries, he was attempting to say the European number sure is a different measure than here in the United States.

Sitting here recounting his observations, it strikes me that this little exchange has an application to us as fathers.

One of the basic things we need to know to be a good father is “who” we are.

When we were born we had all the DNA, physical as well as spiritual, we will ever have. Being born helpless, we were dependent upon our mother and father for everything. We had all the bodily functions we do as adults, but our perspective was ruled by our basic need to survive.

Who knew what we would become, especially us, being we only saw things from the measure of satisfaction for the moment.

We were us, and our measure of success was very simple.

As we grew, we entered into early childhood. Here we began to step out of helplessness and try out some of our independence. Given the choice between a red or a green truck, we would choose which to play with based upon our desires of the moment. We might, in that moment, prefer the color red over the color green, and we would exercise the power of choice without dependence upon our parents.

Although still dependent upon our parents for basic needs, we were given the freedom to choose, within some limitations. Most us us learned to recognize the benefits and consequences of our choices. Although more complexity was introduced into them, our measures of success were still relatively simple.

Our measures of success had changed, but we were still us and we had an idea who we were.

We flash forward; now to our teen years. Radical changes begin in our bodies. We grow hair in places we never had before, our height and weight seem to change overnight, our voices seem to be out of control most of the time, and we think we are ready to be independent of our parents.

Discovery of the opposite sex, suddenly complicates our lives and what was a measure of success just days before, now has no meaning at all. Success now has varying levels of attain ability.

Our measures of success now are determined largely by those who are our peers. We struggle to find ourselves in a sea of conflicting priorities, yet we are still us, albeit, we are harder for us to find.

We turn around and find ourselves in adulthood. We have found our mate and have begun to raise children of our own. Success now has multiple dimensions.

The stakes here are huge. If we fail in any one of them, those who have come to depend on us could be harmed. Our measure of success now has little to do with us. Others are now defining much of what success is for us.101 0103 Or so we think.

After all, we are still us, but we have forgotten who we are.

This is the time we need to take a moment to peer inside and examine our definition of success. What are our measures and where have they come from?

The complications of life today threaten to bury us and hide our spiritual DNA forever.

If we take a few moments to assess our measures of success against the simplicity of who we were at the beginning, we will find that we are still us and that is all anyone wants us to be.

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave

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