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My daughter recently wrote a simple piece about my father for a class she was taking. The assignment? Interview someone you admire, and write about their life.
So she did. She called my dad and talked on three separate occasions, conversing each time for about an hour. They chatted about his life in the 40’s and 50’s, his marriage, children, and career—many things she had heard about from a distance but now was hearing up-close and first hand.
I was humbled that Brooke wanted to learn more about my father. Hearing his story, perspective, and wisdom, was, in her own words, “something for which I’m grateful.”
The icing on the cake was the final question she asked — any tips for living well? Here’s what he said.
- Be consistent, especially in the things that build the inner life. Bible reading, prayer, and church commitment are vital, so find a rhythm and schedule that works and stay at it. Show up no matter what comes up. Consistency is really the outward display of inner discipline, and both prove to be priceless when it comes to laying a solid foundation for your life.
- Be content, happy with how God has made you, what God has given you, and where he has stationed you. In short, refuse to complain. Complaining only exacerbates anger and bitterness. Instead, seek to be patient when things don’t go your way. God is always working something bigger than the immediate, so trust him and develop long-distance eyes.
- Stay engaged with things that keep your mind challenged. Try and stay current so you can pass the baton as effectively as possible to the next generation. Read a lot. Be curious and ask many questions. Accept new challenges. Don’t be afraid of things outside of your comfort zone. “I just finished a 3,500 piece 3-D puzzle of the White House,” he said, chuckling. Staying engaged keeps you thinking about the future, a forward-looking posture that has incredible benefits at every stage of life.
Thanks, dad, for the simply-stated yet time-tested tips for living life well. Happy Father’s Day!
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