Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy in 2008 (Getty Images file)
ATLANTA -- Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy penned a heart-felt letter to his dad, company founder S. Truett Cathy and posted it to his blog on Thursday, the elder Cathy's 92nd birthday.
We've included the letter here in its entirety:
How do you properly or sufficiently honor someone who has taught you every good thing you know? How can you possibly detail all of the lessons he's taught and the example he has been? Is there really any way to celebrate the life of such a man? The answers cannot be found in words. Not mine anyway.
Today is my Dad's 92nd birthday. There will be many parties and (strawberry) cakes and lots and lots of candles. There will be thousands of cards, well wishes, balloons and streamers. But how can we - how can I - show such a man what he means to me... to all of us on this special day?
I am reminded of my Dad's life verse.
Growing up, He encouraged his three kids to find a verse in the Bible that we could claim as our own and share openly with others. When He was about 8 years old, he fell in love with the words of Solomon in Proverbs 22:1, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches." Now, 84 years later, he still lives by that verse and testifies to it every day. I know it is not by coincidence that he chose this verse, or rather that it was chosenfor him... because I cannot think of a single day in my own life when I haven't seem him live it out.
As leaders, we are called to be an example. It is by our actions, not our words, that others are changed and led to action, and that's how my Dad has always chosen to encourage and inspire others... whether it be his business, family or Sunday school class.
He is a man of great character; a hard worker; a man of great vision and courage; with a sense of humility around everyone he meets. He learned a long time ago that true leadership comes with great opportunity and great responsibility, and he taught me that we all have unique opportunities every day to impact and inspire other people. He is still leading that way today. That said, there is no better example of "leading well" than Jesus, and Dad made sure to lead me to a personal relationship with Him above all else.
It is by our actions, not our words, that others are changed and led to action... So, how do I properly or sufficiently honor someone who has taught me every good thing I know? How can I possibly detail all of the lessons he's taught and the example he has been? For me, on this special day, and for the rest of my days on this earth, the answer can only be found in the way I live my life and choose to follow my Dad's shining example.
For the record, I adopted Matthew 6:33 as my life verse: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Thank you, Dad. I love you. Happy birthday!
PHOTOS | Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day