3. My dad taught me the value of organisation
My dad received formal education only to a relatively young age, but he was an organised man. He was always elected clerk of the classis for our whole denomination.
As I grew older, I sometimes wanted to say to them, ‘Don’t you know that my dad only has an eighth-grade education and can’t write well?’ But he managed to put it together. He was organised, and he was a pretty good clerk.
His language was a bit rough, so he would often slip his notes over to me and ask if I would proofread them for him, which I did.
My dad just knew what task needed to be done next, so he accomplished a fair bit. I think he modelled that for me in a way that really impacted me, even more than I consciously realised.
I once had to give a talk to the students at Puritan Reformed Seminary on the subject of organising one’s time. I had never before thought about that subject. I did not know what to say. So I began to think about how I organised my own time.
As I did so, it occurred to me how much I had been influenced by my dad in this area. He did not teach time management to me, I just picked it up from him. My brothers and sisters were influenced by him the same way.
4. My dad taught me the value of placing prayer at the centre of life
My dad wasn’t as free with prayer as I. For example, if he happened to drive by an accident on the highway, he wouldn’t just spontaneously pray. But I knew prayer was at the centre of his life.
I would often see him just sitting in his chair for a while meditating, especially as he grew older. That wasn’t wasted time. It was purposeful meditation. I just knew somehow that while he was meditating, he was praying with eyes open.