We were like oil and water really… I never thought about it like that at the time, but that was the reality in hindsight. He was guarded with his words and chose them carefully when he used them, which didn’t have the hint of over exposure. They were profoundly wise. I heard his words, but was too busy with the business of folly to try to grasp wisdom in them at the time.
I was the antonym to my dad. He patiently enjoyed playing golf, slowly over decades, not playing nearly as often as time or money would allow; he improved, slowly but surely… even golfed his age before going Home.
The second or third time I played golf with my dad I sunk the putter like a tomahawk into one of the greens, enraged from missing a putt… I also smashed one of his irons into the side of a concrete drainage basin I had no business trying to chip out of. Unfortunately I can’t blame childhood… in years anyway.
My dad was the protective provider for his loved ones and justice. Though he was physically trained in the ways of self-defense, he never used it in pride or arrogance, he always offered kindness and help, not insecurity. His prodigal son was willing to risk life and limb at the drop of a hat trying to fill the void left from excessive pride and ego… the gift of wisdom and perspective discarded as worthless.
My dad shared nary a cross word even to those who deserved it. He never thought himself worthy to judge another heart. The polar opposite son used his tongue like a double-edged sword, tearing down others to win at all costs, even if it meant personal change and heartache.
Winning was paramount, finishing first regardless the cost, even if it cost me all I had. I cherished the things of this world that my humble dad fought shy of and put little emphasis on. The role model ignored, sacrificed all he had for the ones he loved. The prodigal sacrificed the lives of all in his path for the only person he really loved in this life… himself.
Referring to myself in the third person softens the blow I still need in order to remind myself of my weaknesses.
The man I was so diametrically opposite of didn’t waste his words and actions. I was proud of him even when I was caught in the fast lane of life with little desire to get off, except for the all too often lonely and melancholy times inflicted by my selfish actions.
The roads chosen I can’t change… The hearts shattered I can’t fix… The damage done I can’t undo… The only thing I can do is heed the words and heart of my Father and dad as well as grasp the grace of forgiveness… The more I live with that mindset the more I look like my dad and Father.
The last few times I golfed with my dad I didn’t throw clubs. I was actually significantly worse than I was before, but I had a better perspective. It wasn’t about the game, it was about the fellowship and time.
I still don’t like losing, but I have the wisdom to know that winning can’t be measured by a score or number. I’m also beginning to grasp the words, “Who is last will be first.” That’s a matter of the heart and it can only be measured by He who created it…