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18 August -“Dad’s nuggets”

Its my Dad’s birthday today, although he will be celebrating in heaven today instead of here. I was remembering his habit when visiting me of tapping on the window with his keys to announce his arrival.

Remembering is a bit like my Dad’s tapping on the window. Our memories tap on the window of our thoughts, triggering memories of moments, events and conversations we’ve had in the past.

Dad lived and worked in the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie for quite a few years, so I call Dads “pearls of wisdom”, that he liked to share, Dads nuggets, and today they are tapping on my memory. Just as a nugget of gold needs dusting off and examining closer to bring out its shine and value so too do “Dads nuggets.”

One of the things Dad got frustrated with was the failure of the younger generation to learn from older peoples experiences and mistakes. So today as “Dads nuggets” tap on my memory window I’d like to share some of his classics.

1. Everyone doesn’t have to see that! Dad loved the beach and working on getting an “all over tan”. However this led to seeing some sights, both for Dad and for those sharing the beach with him! However a piece of wisdom Dad gleaned from his “sunbathing” is that not everyone looks good naked, and one should consider whether everyone really needs to see that! That goes for sunbathing, and your everday choice of clothing.

2. Buy quality. Dad may not always have been “flush with cash”, but he was a firm believer in buying the best you can afford. He pushed against the poverty mentality and spirit that often limits people from seeking to be the best they can be, and always hoped and encouraged to be, and expect better.

3. Dream. My Dad was the ultimate dreamer. He was extremely creative and an ideas person. He wasn’t afraid to think outside the box, and nothing was too crazy for him. I’m really grateful for having that permission to “dream” from an early age, and to know that it’s ok to have an imagination. God, I’ve discovered gave us that ability to dream and imagine, and even says He will do far more for us than we can ask, hope or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Allowing and encouraging dreams also increases our capacity and will to get back up after a disappointment or set-back. Dad experienced many disappointments in life, but I think his ability to keep dreaming helped him be one of the most tenacious people I’ve ever met.

4. Travel as much as possible, to as many places as possible. Dad loved going places, and believed travelling makes you “bigger on the inside”. People can become “small minded” if they only ever stay at home in their comfort zone. Travelling causes us to explore, to grow, to believe for something, to try new things, and to trust both ourselves and God more.

5. Run to God, not away. Dad was often frustrated with people not learning from other’s mistakes. He was a creative, well travelled, big hearted dreamer. He faced loss and disappointment, but kept dreaming and hoping anyway. But the one thing I did learn from a mistake of his is that when we suffer hardship and life feels like it is throwing “curve balls”, don’t run from God, run to Him. Dad unfortunately spent a fair amount of time being annoyed at, and running from God. He figured it out in the end, but I think He would have been happier and far more peaceful in his life if he’d spent more time running to God, rather than away.

Its a good thing to learn from others, especially those older than us. We can learn both from their experiences, achievments and mistakes. Their hope is that the next generation will dream bigger, go further and achieve greater things than they ever did. That was one of my Dad’s dreams, and today I know He’s cheering us on from heaven to keep running, to keep dreaming and to never give up.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

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