Dad and the “right”color of brown pants at the 2012 Eau Claire County Fair.
Aug. 3, 2013
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Today would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday.
This past week, I have often thought about what traits my Dad lived that I think were admirable. One that keeps popping into my head was humble. My Dad never drove a fancy truck, owned expensive machinery or had lavish hobbies. He was content on being one of the guys who went to the coffee shop and caught up on the town news. He wanted to blend in. Praise and recognition where not his cup of tea. In fact, this embarrassed him.
Last week, I was looking for my Mom’s aqua Eau Claire County Fair t-shirt for her to wear to the fair. I couldn’t find it. I did find my Dad’s 4-H green one. I suggested she wear this, along with a pair of brown pants.
It has been a standing joke in our family for years. My Dad would only wear brown pants, except for very rare situations. My Mom bought him pants of other colors, but it was pointless. The color he preferred was dark tan or dark khaki. A regular khaki was too light. Dark brown pants were too dark. His preferred color choice was a narrow range. Thinking back, this color choice reflected who he was. This color blends in. It doesn’t stand out. It matches most any top he would wear. It also reflects how he didn’t want to draw attention to himself.
My Mom proudly wore the appropriate shade of brown pants to the fair along with my Dad’s Kelly green fair t-shirt. She did my Dad proud. But he is not the person who would have wanted to have something worn in his memory.
Today, our society is very me-focused. We focus so much on individual accomplishment and recognition that people have come to expect it. When it is not forthcoming, too often we take our balls and our bats and go home, complaining that someone did not recognize our value and worth.
My Dad was by no means perfect. He made mistakes, lacked patience and could have a temper. But when he was wrong, most of the time he was humble enough to admit it. He didn’t do something for recognition but because he believed in the cause. This is the type of attitude Jesus lived and talked about. Dad, thanks for living this example for me. I pray this attribute will be part of my daily life. By the way, Dad, Happy Birthday.
Lord God, as we read of Jesus’ life, I pray his humbleness is an attribute we will strive for in our personal lives. Encourage us to be less me-focused. Rather, may our actions, words and lives to reflect your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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