Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
TITLE: Things I Learned from my Father
By Sharon Henderson
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Have a solid work ethic and positive attitude about work – I still remember applying for my very first job. I think I was 14 or 15 and I applied to be a cook at a local restaurant. The manager asked me “Do you know how to cook?” to which I replied, “I can learn!” She hired me on the spot … as a waitress.
Treat everyone with respect – Growing up, whenever we would pass hitchhikers, Dad would slow down the pickup truck and let them ‘hop in the back’. He would help them get a little further down the road. It didn’t matter to Dad who they were; he would offer them the ride.
Be trustworthy and realize not everyone is – When I started driving, he gave me a CB radio and a few stern orders. One was not to pick-up hitch-hikers! He explained the dangers of a single woman in that situation. He also encouraged me to be careful with the truckers that I CB’d with up and down the interstate.
Keep your finances in order – Tithing may not make mathematical sense but it has unbeatable returns. No matter how tight our money was, my parents always gave their first fruits to the Lord. We never went ‘without’. Due to their faithfulness, our financial needs were always met.
Life may not always seem to be fair but God is always in control – When one of my best friends suddenly moved away with her mother, I did not understand what was going on. Why could I not play with her any more? Where was she? Dad help me to understand that we don’t always get what we want in life but God knows His plans for us and it all works out in the end. Over 40 years later, my friend and I reconnected and I was so glad to realize that God’s hand had protected her as well.
Above all else, keep God first – Dad’s faith was a living faith. We didn’t just ‘go to church’; to a child it felt like we ‘lived at church’. I used to envision my parents buying the church buildings and turning them into the biggest house I’d ever seen. The fellowship hall would be turned into the kitchen and dining room. The upstairs children’s classes with movable walls would be my room and I could reconfigure it anytime I wanted! Dad’s faith didn’t stop at the edge of the church parking lot. He lived it everyday. I learned to really pray from my Dad. I learned ‘why’ I go to church, why I give, and why I love my neighbor as myself. He taught me to ask what Jesus would do many years before WWJD became a popular catch phrase.
My life as not been perfect…but thanks to my Dad, it has been solid. Who could ask for more?
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