As Father’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking more than usual about Daddy. I have read that a child gets her perception of God and how to relate to God from her father. And the child gets her perception of others and how to relate to them from her mother. There is much truth in those statements.
I was blessed with a wonderful father. He was a godly man who loved his family. He was wise, honest, hardworking, gentle, protective, and kind. He made it easy for me to believe that God loved me, would take care of me, and had expectations of me.
In his retirement, nothing pleased Daddy more than the hours spent in his shop making things, and he was especially good at redeeming and reclaiming things—that is taking an old piece of wood and making something beautiful and functional out of it. Sort of like God, don’t you think? I look around our house, and Daddy’s handiwork is everywhere. Such treasures.
Daddy stepped into heaven twenty-three years ago. I still remember his voice. I still hear him playing his guitar and singing. I remember laughing every time he told us he couldn’t sing anymore because his voice was “sprung.” How I’d love to hear his voice, sprung or not, and what he’d have to say these days!”
My sweet husband spoke at Daddy’s memorial service, and he really nailed it. He got Daddy. He shared the principles Daddy lived by. Of course, in Bill’s memorial message he fleshed out these tenets with stories from Daddy’s life, and I have condensed them here. But somehow it just seems appropriate as Fathers’ Day is approaching that I share them to honor Daddy. These values are tried and true and more relevant than ever in today’s world.
BUDDY’S TEN COMMANDMENTS
The Common Sense Philosophy of J. Rogers “Buddy” Clark
1. Thou shalt not be wishy-washy.
Be dependable. Reliable. Faithful. Someone people can count on.
2. Thou shalt not be overly-involved.
Be single-minded. Family-centered. Investing in those you love.
3. Thou shalt not be recognized for the wrong things.
Be honored for the right things. Be counted. Be known as a churchman.
4. Thou shalt not be a sour puss.
Be encouraging. Enjoyable to be around. Make people smile. Tell a funny story.
5. Thou shalt not be wasteful.
Be creative. Redemptive. Treat nothing and no one as useless or worthless.
6. Thou shalt not be self-serving.
Be other-centered. A servant. Self-denying. Be a care-giver.
7. Thou shalt not be greedy.
Be generous. Giving. Have a heart for the poor, hungry, and helpless.
8. Thou shalt not be a show-off.
Be humble. Simple. Private. Always let someone else praise you.
9. Thou shalt not be a fake.
Be real. Honest. Genuine. What you see is what you get.
10. Thou shalt not be unemotional.
Be unreserved in expressing your love. Be free. Don’t wait too late.
My daddy was that man. I told you I was blessed. Twenty-three years later, and I still miss him. ’Til I see him again, I’m grateful to still be surrounded by family and friends who loved him, by sweet memories, and by beautiful things that he made for me.
Thank you, Father, for giving me Daddy to teach me
about who You are, and what You’re like, and how I’m supposed to conduct my life on this planet.