Rite of passage: Happy 60th birthday, dad
by Jeremy Moore
I know you were expecting to read the wit and wisdom of Walker Moore today. Over the years, my father has asked me numerous times to write an article for him. He does not ask me because I am gifted at packaging humor and wisdom into an 800-word essay, but because most of the time he has no idea what he is going to write. My dad really enjoys writing these articles. Week after week, he receives uplifting comments from his readers and takes his writing responsibility very seriously. He has written so many articles that he is always searching for content and funny stories that match. He spends his days during the week bouncing ideas off his co-workers and family, but more often than not, he does not write anything down until the day the article is due for print. He wants me to write one to relieve him of the pressure brought about by these looming deadlines.
Most of us don’t like the pressure of waiting until the last minute, but my dad thrives under it. I have seen my dad do this many times. My parents just went on vacation after their busy summer on the mission field. I would bet my mom was packed three days before they left, and my dad opened his suitcase and crammed it full of clothes three minutes before the plane taxied down the runway. Somehow in his method, he is able to match his socks and get all of his toiletries packed. (Although there have been a few times it didn’t work!) If I travel with my dad to one of the many churches where he speaks, I will ask him what he is speaking on. His response, just before we arrive, is usually, “I have no idea.” He has ideas, but what he likes to do is feel the crowd, see what the needs are, and then decide just as he is walking up the steps to the altar. By the time he is done speaking, they are coming down the aisle weeping and crying. Most of us could not wait until the last second to decide what we were going to speak on and do the great job he does.
This weekend (Oct. 7) is my dad’s 60th birthday, and the one gift I want to give him is time. I could give my dad a new speaker for his surround sound system, a gift card for his kindle, or some more of my clothes I was going to donate to Goodwill (That story was an article). He would have enjoyed those gifts, but they would not have required much of MY time and would soon be forgotten. I vividly remember one gift my dad gave me while I was in college playing ball. It was a set of basketball-shaped characters with bendable arms and legs. What he failed to realize was the box said “for ages 3-9.” He thought I would love it because it was basketball related. I exchanged that gift for something you wouldn’t find in a happy meal.
What I would never exchange is all the times my dad came to my basketball games. He was a regular fixture in the bleachers when I was a player and still enjoys coming to my games now that I am a coach. Some of my favorite times of the year are when he speaks to my students and spends time with my wife and me. Former students ask me if they can come hear my dad speak again. Guess I made an impact in their lives, even if it was just introducing them to my dad!
Being 60 is not the end of the world, but it does make each second more valuable. People show what is important to them by what they spend their time doing. If someone says they love their wife, husband or children, but don’t spend time with them, then those things really are not that important. People convince themselves they work extra to give their kid a better life, but most kids would prefer a parent playing with them on the carpet or in the yard than the newest, shiniest toy.
Hopefully, with my gift of time, Dad can enjoy his week off from writing an article by relaxing on the couch and watching an episode of “M.A.S.H.” with my mom, take a walk at the park near his home and relax in his hot tub. When he is ready, he will get back to work like usual, investing time into your lives by writing these articles and changing the lives of countless others through the work he does.
Happy birthday dad! In 60 more years, I will write another article for you! Love you, Jeremy.
Jeremy Moore is Walker Moore’s son. Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries in Tulsa, P.O. Box 470265, Tulsa 74147, email walker@awestar/org. Phone 800/AWESTAR (293-7827.