My father has taught me a lot of things over the years. I remember – through a series of “why” questions starting with “why does water come out of the tap?” – him explaining the water cycle to my sister and I when we were in preschool 😛 He also taught us about environmental issues and animal habitats when we would get toys out after we had watched a documentary and act out together the things we had learned about the animal subject. I also learned a lot from his example of faithfulness and love.
One life lesson that he taught at a time when I don’t know that he was actively trying to teach it happened when he was inviting me to participate in one of his hobbies – water sports.
Because of lung issues as a child, I really didn’t excel at traditional sports that required a lot of stamina. So one of the ways my parents tried to provide opportunities for me to stay active was with activities that only required shorter bursts of more intense physical activity. In particular water skiing and kneeboarding. Most days after school in the summers we would travel to a small lake 15 mins away and spend a couple hours out on the lake windsurfing or being dragged behind a boat.
The implement I enjoyed the most was a kneeboard. I started learning how to spin myself around, jump from wake to wake, and eventually started combining the two. Dad was always so encouraging, there was never frustration at me for trying something beyond my current reach that caused me to splash and him to have to circle around (again) to let me try one more time. Instead it was always:
“You’re doing great, you almost had it that time! Remember if you aren’t falling, you aren’t learning anything. You have to push your limits to expand them.”
I believe those words planted a seed that has helped me get back up at times in my life when it’s felt like I’ve tried my hardest and still fallen. Knowing I’ve learned something from the experience and have another Father right beside me saying “You’re doing great, you almost had it that time” makes all the difference when it comes time to get back up again.
Thanks Dad for helping me to recognize His voice.
Would you be willing to share a memory of a parent that made a positive impact in your life in the comments below?