Relevant, Old Paths
My dad was fifty-two years old when I was born. When I was thirteen, he asked me if I was embarrassed that he was so much older than my friends’ dads. I told him I wasn’t embarrassed but that I respected him and learned more from him because he was older. He was born a few years after the end of World War I and fought in World War II. He had a newspaper route during the Great Depression, and he told me stories about real cowboys, bank robbers, and his father, who grew up at the turn of the twentieth century in the old West in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. My dad wasn’t just older than my friends’ dads, he was from a different era, an era when young men respected old men and when old men raised young men to be men and not just guys. It was a time when older men and older women took seriously the biblical charge to teach and train younger men and women in old values such as integrity, service, loyalty, sacrifice, honor, wisdom, hard work, and humility.