I overhead an interesting conversation during my morning coffee run. The gist of it — that Justin Bieber is a hero because he gave a court official “what for” during a recent deposition.
Not my definition of hero. Frankly, I take umbrage with anyone who engages in disrespectful, entitled, and mean-spirited behavior.
I have a different definition of hero. My dad, Tom Dobson, is my hero. He is an Air Force veteran, and served his country with honor. He has survived life-threatening medical issues, and has been told repeatedly that he’s a miracle man. The fact that he’s here some 20 years after his medical odyssey began speaks volume to his strength and willpower.
He deals with whatever life tosses at him with grace and dignity. He is a servant leader and serves his church and its people with integrity and honor. He treats people with respect, even those with whom he disagrees. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he cowboys up and carries on because that is what is required.
Have a job to do? Jump in and do it. Have a responsibility? Handle it. Is he perfect? No, but he is humble in his humanity. He is my hero, my role model, my example, and the best cheerleader ever created.
I am incredibly grateful for the relationship that I have with my dad. Over the decades we’ve spent on earth, our relationship has changed and grown. I don’t look to him because he’s perfect; I look to him because he taught me how to live. To do what I’ll say I’ll do. To live with honor and integrity. To love those around me. To help people who need help. To stand up for my beliefs; to right wrongs.
That’s relationship. I would rather hang with my dad than with most people.
From the outside, he appears to be very dignified; but I know the truth. He has a wicked sense of humor, and my goofiness is genetic. I think his experiences have taught him to love life, and his time on the planet.
I learned from watching him. Take nothing for granted.
The time I’ve spent with Dad has taught me how to grow and nurture my own relationship with God. It isn’t forged by good works, or by what I’ll gain because I’ve “got God.” It is forged by untold experiences, good and bad, that have shaped my life.
This is a journey, filled with a multitude of learning opportunities. Much like the relationship with my dad, the relationship I’m in with God grows and changes. And that’s how it should be.
Patti Dobson writes about faith for the Portales News-Tribune. Contact her at: