Pacesetter, Conductor, Father


Every family needs a pacesetter. Every family needs a conductor. His name is “Dad."

I’m not a big auto racing fan, but on Memorial Day, I like to watch the Indianapolis 500—and my favorite part of the race is the start. If you have never seen it, you have missed something. A specially-designed pace car goes ahead of the 30 or so other race cars, looping the track several times to set the proper pace. Then when the starter agrees that all cars are in position, he lowers the green flag and the race is on. What happens to the pace car? He gets out of the way as quickly as possible, because the high-powered cars behind him are about to move out at an unbelievable speed!

I’m not a huge fan of the symphony, either, but I appreciate the role of the conductor. I’ve learned that the price of a symphony ticket is many times determined by the expertise or renown of the conductor. And when a conductor steps into the spotlight and lifts his baton, an orchestra full of highly-skilled, first rate musicians are waiting for him to cue that first note and establish the tempo the music requires.

Every family needs a pacesetter. Every family needs a conductor. His name is “Dad.” Fathers are to be the pacesetters for their families—especially in the lives of their children. Dads lead their children around the track, establishing the pace for 18 years or so in the existential classroom of family living—then they get off the track and get out of the way, because their sons and daughters are ready to run the race we call life. As conductor, the father establishes the tempo of the home, and seeks to insure that the music pouring forth from his family matches the Composer’s perfect design. How about you, Dad? How are you doing? Would your family recognize you as a pacesetter and conductor, or an absentee landlord?


Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also delight your soul.


2 Chronicles 28; Jeremiah 43-44

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