This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. Throughout our nation we will pause to pay tribute to the fathers of our land. Through the press, on radio, on TV, from pulpits much will be written and said about fathers, what they are and what they should be.
But what about fathers themselves? What do they think, feel, and say? Not about themselves, though I am sure there is some deep soul-searching, but about their children?
Some time ago in my reading I came across an article by an unknown author entitled When A Father Prays. For this Father’s Day, 2009, I would like to share it with fathers everywhere.
“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid. One who will be proud and unbending in defeat but humble and gentle in victory.
“A son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know that to know himself is the foundation stone of all true knowledge. “Rear him, I pray, not in the paths of ease and comfort but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenges. Here, let him learn to stand up in the storm; here, let him learn compassion for those who fail.
“Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high. A son who will master himself before he seeks to master others. One who will learn to laugh, yet never forget to weep. One who will reach for the future, yet never forget the past.
“And after all these are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously; a touch of humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
“Then, I, his father, will dare in the sacred recess of my heart to whisper, ‘I have not lived in vain.’”
Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he was senior minister for 23 years. He writes a religious column for several newspapers.