(Four generations of Bonham Men – Chris, Casey, Graham and David)
My dad turns 75 today.
We talk once a week. I will call my parents on Mondays as I drive to work. My biggest problem is tracking him down and getting him on the phone. This week he was digging ditches in my mom’s garden. Last week, he was working with his cows. Meeting someone on a construction site. Helping his church by administrating their books. Each week he is doing something. My call is usually around 8:15am and he is already well into his day.
At 75, I don’t know how many more conversations we are going to get so I cherish each one. We almost lost him a few years back when he was doing a repair and his ladder slipped off the first story roof. He tumbled off and did some damage. He made it and has come back strong. So strong, he was at Abby’s wedding and gave her a big embrace before the walk down the aisle. I don’t take for granted the moments after the accident – they are gifts.
Wisdom is important to both of us. I ask people all the time about their wisdom on life, God, marriage or anything I think they have an expertise in because I love hearing their insights. My dad’s I have known for a long time so I will tell you what he would say. Two nuggets that have been etched into my brain and my heart.
First of all, use common sense. Life is hard and has many curveballs. Dad always brought me back to the simplicity of common sense. In how I approached a situation, treated and valued people, sought out solutions and carried out my actions – common sense was always thread through it. It isn’t 100% foolproof but I would have to agree that many times we make things harder than they need to be. Taking a step back and bringing simple, common sense to most situations is going to bring a lot of momentum and a strong foundation.
His final nugget is something he will smile when he reads this – “Listen to the Lord.” Even a pastor gets frustrated when waiting on God’s timing and plans and my dad was always quick to use this nugget on me. Well, he is right. I have found that listening to the Lord in good/bad/challenging/easy/perplexing/clear/frustrating and pleasing situations works. Sometimes his voice is easy to hear and do what He says. Sometimes, it is quiet. In both cases, I am growing in my relationship with God and usually come out stronger in my love for Him. Dad is right – Listening to God’s voice in your life situations allows you put your hope in a God that is limitless and you realize how big He really is.
Happy Birthday Dad. I am calling you today…