Father’s Day 2023…As I have made clear in previous blogs, my father had a general store and that store kept him working over 70 hours a week for more than 40 years! BUT…Even though he wasn’t able to leave the store and “be there” for many of his 7 children’s activities, we always knew he was available at any time if we needed fatherly advice, support or wisdom.
For many years, my father was an adult Sunday School teacher. One day as I was working in the store, he started having a discussion with someone from his class about Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The man said: “Well as long as my kids are in church that’s all that matters, right?” My father said: “Maybe being in church would be some of it, but most of it comes at home.” He then pointed over at me putting cans on a shelf. “I’m training and teaching my children to be adults. I hope to have 18–20-year-old adults, not 18–20-year-old children.” Hearing that made me proud to be my father’s son!
Having the privilege of starting to work in that store at age 7, gave me a desire to work- that my father instilled in me-teaching me that work can be rewarding and fun! Even at home he started including me in helping to change the oil in the lawnmowers at about age 10. (The blades on the mowers came next!) Every fall he would have me (help) take the summer tires off the car and put on the winter tires. Of course, without even realizing it, by the time I was 13 I could check air pressure and change a tire-handy if you had a flat tire. Plus, it was fun to be included and learn “man stuff!” By the time I was 14 he showed me how to change the oil and filter on the cars. Now that was really fun! Getting the engine hot first so all the old oil runs out fast and easy. (I learned really quick where not to be under there, because hot oil on you is not fun!)
My father also taught me that when you make a deal you stick with it…When I was about to turn 16 and start driving, my father informed me that after talking with his car insurance agent, it was going to cost $600 every 6 months to allow me to drive his 2 cars. He said that if I wanted to be able to drive the cars alone, I’d have to pay the additional $600 premium. Well, I’d been working and saving all my life and really wanted to drive, so I said, “Okay”. After I had been driving for about 5 months, I remembered that $600 was going to be due soon. I thought I’d “try my luck”. I went up to my father and said: “That $600 premium on the car insurance will be due next month, won’t it?” He said: “Yeah, it will be due the 15th of next month.” I said: “I’m not sure if I’m going to have it.” He said: “That’s okay.” I said: “It is?” He said: “Yep…Hope you have good shoes!” Nothing more was ever said about that, and I always had the money for him until I bought my own car.
I was only 19 years old when my father had a legal contract drawn up making me 1/3 partner of his store. I think at the time it was a very good thing for both of us-somewhat of a future for me and the beginning of an exit plan for him. But it was only 4 or 5 months after giving me that partnership that I turned it down and told my father that I felt every bone in my body saying I should move to Indiana. He didn’t say a single negative word! He was happy for me and glad I was listening to the voice of God in my heart!
After I had my own business for several years my father sent me a note one day and said: “These verses proved true for me, and they will for you if you stay true to Him. Love, Dad” “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT
Happy Father’s Day!
Till Next Time…..