Monday, August 13, 2012

Why Do I Keep Seeking Out Substitute Father Figures?

I was blessed with a good father. My dad is righteous. He's a rock. He's reliable. He's predictable. He's stable. And with my mother (who died of cancer before I turned four) and my step-mother, he gave us three kids a much better upbringing than he had. I'll always be grateful. My father taught me right from wrong. I didn't always listen to him, but he implanted good values within me. More importantly, he lived them. Dad took a great interest in my intellectual development as well. By age eight, I was in love with reading. Dad suggested many great books to me. He tried to dissuade me from wasting so much time following sports and watching TV. When I was nine or ten, he took me to the Avondale College library and explained how it worked. When we moved to Pacific Union College in 1977 when I was 11, he showed me how that library worked as well. Libraries became a second-home for me. Even though dad always had a frantic schedule, he frequently took time to play with me, be it soccer or Monopoly or the like. Dad had clear priorities. Number one was God (embodied in Jesus). Number two was family and religious community and health and learning. Dad never had hobbies. He had too much to do. Dad would rest and relax at times but only for the sake of accomplishing more in the long run. From an early age, I sought the mentorship of older men. I wanted people I could discuss politics and sports with. I wanted to just hang out. Dad was very busy and while he'd always make time for me when I asked, I didn't want to be a bother. It was easier to seek out other men. From grade school on, I was frequently more interested in hanging out with the fathers of my friends than with my friends. I loved to just kick back and talk. I always picked good friends and I always picked good mentors. Even though I've never been particularly righteous myself, I always had a good sense of the decency of others and always prefered to surround myself with those who wouldn't needlessly hurt me.