Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Father’s Example

June 19, 2016

Page 11A

 My Father's Example

By Peggy Toney Horton 

        I awakened early and looked out my window toward the horizon. Although the sun was still nestled behind the hills, its golden rays were a harbinger of the beauty that was still to come. Beyond the burst of yellow was a hint of sky, the promise of blue. It was magnificent to behold!
I thought of my father.
My father was a morning person. I inherited so much of him, why not that? I’ve never been able to start my day early and have often been criticized for not being an early riser. My mother liked to tease that I was “born lazy,” but I prefer to think that God made each of us different and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s okay. Everyone doesn’t have to be the same.
So, no matter what time I get up – early or late – I have priorities just like everyone else.
My dad often told me, “It’s good to start the day by yourself. Just you and your thoughts – alone with God. That’s where you find direction for your day.”
And it stuck!
After many years, I still find it a necessity to be alone for about thirty minutes each morning before I start dealing with anyone or anything. If I don’t get that, my whole day is a bit askew.
As a child, I frequently awakened to find my mother still in bed and I’d go looking for my dad. On warm, spring days or summer mornings, I’d find him sitting on the front porch swing. He was sometimes reading the newspaper, but most often, he’d just be sitting with the most pleasant look on his face – not exactly a smile – but rather a look of contentment. Who knows what he was thinking? Knowing him as I do, I suspect he was having an intimate conversation with God.
But when he saw me, a broad smile would light up his face and he’d say, “Well, good morning, sunshine! How’s Daddy’s baby today?” It was always the same. Even after I was grown and had a family of my own, knowing I’d be up early with my children, he’d phone and say those very words. I never tired of hearing them.
On this day to honor our fathers, I’m remembering so many things about my wonderful father: his dark good looks, tender manner, sense of humor, his kindness toward everyone and his passionate love for God, his family and baseball – in that order.
It’s been many years since my father left us, but his memory remains vivid. I thank God for blessing me with a father who taught me what my Father in Heaven expects of me, and he taught it in the best possible way—by example! 

Happy Father’s Day!   
Peggy Toney Horton
112 Brentwood Rd.
Nitro, WV 25143