Altar Call Ė Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

June 18, 2006


This is a good day to give thanks for your fatherís example


††††† Early this morning I will find a quiet place and spend a few minutes giving thanks for my fatherís influence on my life. Some time after Daddy died at age 93, it dawned on me that he had impacted my life more than any other person I have known.

††††††††† Many significant people have colored the way I look at life. Some touched me with lovely pastel colors, calling from me a gentleness that I long ignored and is not yet fully developed. Others, like my dad, stroked me with bold colors that birthed inside me a driving ambition to succeed.

††††††††† I am quite sure that my dad never decided to exert his influence upon my life. He just did it by being the person he was. He did it by the power of his example Ė by the way he lived his own life.

††††††††† Dad was strong physically and mentally. He worked hard all day, from sunup until sundown. There was not a lazy bone in his body. When he encountered a problem he would not quit until he found a solution. He was doggedly determined to reach his goals on any given day.

††††††††† Few things could deter him once his mind was made up. If the cattle needed feed on a winter day, bad weather never slowed him down. No matter that it was storming outside, that bitter, cold wind was chapping his face, he would not rest until the work was done.

††††††††† I doubt that dad ever slept eight hours any night of his life. He had a routine from which he did not waver. Bedtime was 10:30 every night. He arose at 4:30, not now and then but every morning. Even in his late eighties, when he was unable to do much at all, he got up at 4:30 to drink coffee, listen to the weather report, and read his Bible.

††††††††† Growing up in that environment gave me a strong work ethic. Life is made for work. Get up. Get at it. Donít waste daylight. Put your hand to the plow and go, man, go. Your work comes first. Donít let anything stop you. Keep at it until you get the job done. That attitude was engrained in me from my childhood.

††††††††† Dadís honesty influenced me as strongly as his work ethic. He was a man of his word. He meant what he said and he expected the same from other people. He had no patience with liars and when he caught me in a lie, my rear end got a painful reminder of how important it is to tell the truth.

††††††††† Growing up I discovered that my dad had a good reputation. I was never ashamed to be known as his son. People trusted him and that meant something to me. It gave me a sense of pride that I was his son. I never heard a man speak ill of my dad and I know now that profoundly influenced me with a desire to be an honorable man myself.

††††††††† Now and then I encounter children in a family who seem not to respect their mother. They ignore her authority and talk to her as though she is stupid. Such disrespect nauseates me and my father is responsible for my attitude. He did not tolerate any disrespect of Mama when my siblings and I were growing up.

We learned that we would pay a price for ďtalking back to your mother.Ē To this day I am thankful for my dadís example in this, and I deplore the way some dads allow their own children to treat their mother.

Tolerating such disrespect will surely injure a marriage and a family over time.

††††††††† Dad was not perfect. He was an impatient man and often as hard as nails. But I realize now that he exerted a mighty influence upon my life. He influenced my attitudes powerfully and in many ways I am the product of his example. On this Fatherís day I remember fondly his influence and the rare privilege of having been his son. + + + +