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AFA Journal

COMMENTARY

Walking in Dadís path

By Randall Murphree
AFA Journal Editor
AFA Journal, June, 2002 edition

On a Saturday morning 50 years ago, I would often be found running down the sidewalks of Oneonta, Alabama, trying to keep pace with my dad. He was not tall, but Dad traveled in long, quick strides, setting a pace that demanded I pay attention and keep up. Heíd leave me at Mr. Brooksí Barber Shop, a $1 bill in my pocket. With the 25 cents change from my haircut, Iíd stop by Elmoreís Dime Store to purchase two comic books and an ice cream cone. Soon Iíd be settled on the seat from an old car in the office at Uncle Ernestís Sinclair Service Station reading my comics, and waiting for Dad to pick me up.

Interviewing Wayne Hastings (See Wisdom for rearing godly children) and talking with him about his son brought a lot of memories to mind. As vividly as any other, I recall those days of running just to keep up with Dadís quick steps. This Fatherís Day season, Iím reminded that my life has been richly blessed with this man who set not only a physical pace for me to match, but also a spiritual pace for me to emulate.

My dad taught me not only how to milk a cow and mend a pasture fence, but also how to minister to others and mend relationships; not only how to pick cotton and love nature, but also how to preserve my character and love a neighbor; not only how to accept lifeís hardest days, but also how to apply Godís Word.

I pray that todayís fathers will reflect the same integrity, the same love of God and neighbor, and the same selfless character. What a man. Iím still struggling to keep up with him.

In Memory
Dwight L. Murphree
December 25, 1908 Ė May 20, 1998