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It’s 7 in the morning. The mist begins clearing outside my house as I walk to my car to head to work. I buckle in, set my coffee thermos in the cup holder and begin my commute.

Living at the back of the neighborhood, I often get to observe people’s morning routines as I drive toward the exit of our small oasis west of Council Road. People mowing before the sun rises. Parents tossing Pop tarts to their “already late” high school kids. Elderly couples getting their morning cardio in with their swooshing windbreakers.

I see a lot in the two minutes it takes to leave my neighborhood. Since the first morning’s commute from my new house, there’s always been one thing I can count on – Mr. Bus Stop Dad.

Mr. Bus Stop Dad is always there with his son, who appears to be in about second grade. On the first day of school they’re playing tag in the front yard – giddy with excitement and nerves.

On the colorful days of fall, they’re throwing leaves at each other. On the bitterly cold days they’re pressed tightly together, laughing at the sight of their breath in the crisp morning air. On the last day of school, they’re rubbing sleep from their eyes and sharing a hug as the son gets on the bus.

I’ve learned many things from Mr. Bus Stop Dad. But three essential truths come from my observations:

  1. My Dad was there. From awkward dance recitals to failed college presentations, from a six-cream, six-sugar McDonalds coffee kind of day to a QuikTrip whoopee pie kind of day… he’s always been there. Mr. Bus Stop Dad reminds me everyday what a gift my dad is.
  2. Dads shape the future. When the father of the household strives to invest in his children and wife, the home is a safe and exciting place. Discipleship happens when the dad gets off his La-Z-Boy and spends time with his family. Watching ESPN won’t teach your son to respect women. Playing Call of Duty won’t show your daughter biblical manhood. But you can, Dad! Mr. Bus Stop Dad probably isn’t perfect, but he tries. I know he tries because he’s present.
  3. It’s more than a cliché. We hear “God is your Heavenly Father” all the time, but do we truly consider the implications? God, Initiator, Sustainer, and Completer of our faith, sets the world’s troubles aside to sit at life’s bus stop with us. First John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him.” It is more than a cliché to call God our Father; it is a privilege!

Mr. Bus Stop Dad and all dads alike, keep going. Even when money is tight, even when relationships are strained, even when you spill your coffee at 7 in the morning… keep going! Your influence and presence displays Christ to a lost world everyday!