Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)
TITLE: Father to Son—Passing the Code
By BILL HUNT
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Dad and I started off side-by-side walking in the right and left wheel tracks down the back country lane. The gravel road was a quiet place, tree shaded, lined with shoulder high grasses and some leafy bushes. Except for the chirps of happy sparrows, it was secluded.
I wondered what he had in mind.
â€śYouâ€™ll be growing up fast, now, and becoming more and more involved with the world.â€ť
Iâ€™d rarely seen my Dadâ€™s face so intent.
â€śYouâ€™re a fine young man. But this world has a way of challenging your perspectivesâ€¦ in school, among your friends, wherever you go.â€ť
I felt a growing lump in my throat.
â€śThe most important thing of all is to practice the first great commandment. Do you remember what that is?â€ť
â€śYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength,â€ť I answered proudly, remembering one of my favorite Sunday school lessons.
â€śIf you do that, God will walk with you and guide you. A lot of people forget that major lesson. Youâ€™ll see them fall into all types of trouble in life.
â€śNext, be an absolutly honest man. This world learns to lie, cheat, and steal. Shakespeare said it well.
â€ś 'Above all else, to your own self be true. And then it follows as sure as day follows night that you cannot be false to any man.â€™ Do you understand what this means?â€ť
â€śYes, Dad,â€ť I said humbly. â€śI should be true to myself. Then I will be true to others. Right?â€ť
â€śYes, I think truth is like one of those coastal lighthouse you explored on our Maine vacation. It shines a beacon through the darkness when the perfect storms rage against us.
â€śYouâ€™ll learn too soon, people in life will persecute you. Iâ€™m sorry to say that,â€ť his face turned sad.
I held my breath.
â€śWhenever you do right, whenever you stand for truth, others will resent you because of the evil in their own hearts.
â€ś 'The darkness always hates the light,â€™ the Bible tells us.â€ť
â€śDad, already there are bullies in school who hate me.â€ť
â€śI'm sorry, Son,â€ť he said.
â€śJesus stood silent when he was accused.
â€śIâ€™d like you to try that first. Donâ€™t defend yourself. Wait for others to defend you. Often, the truth comes out. Thatâ€™s a good thing.
â€śOther times, you will have to take it on the jaw. Remember, they beat Jesus. They even killed him because he taught truth.
â€śSon, I want you to remember respect for women. God made them the most beautiful creatures on earth. But they are very different from the way we are in many ways.â€ť
I sort of agreed.
â€śDo you have any girl friends?â€ť he asked.
â€śNaw, they stick to themselves,â€ť I said.
â€śJust because someone is different doesnâ€™t mean theyâ€™re wrong. In fact, youâ€™ll find women are usually right. Thatâ€™s because God gave them a special grace to guide us men and even to care for us.
â€śDo you notice how wonderfully your mother takes care of us?â€ť
â€śYes, Dad, breakfast, lunch, and dinner!â€ť I smiled.
â€śWomen really reflect the very nature of God to men. In fact, men reflect the nature of God to women. Men have the grace to be the protectors, providers, and partners, even the patriarchs! Youâ€™ll find out what all that means as you get a little older.
I wasn't sure.
â€śAnother thing, God places all kinds of people on the earth, all races, creeds, cultures, nations. Itâ€™s like he planted a vast garden with a variety of flowers, colors, shapes, to make it a beautiful world.
â€śItâ€™s important you respect all these differences. Itâ€™s like what I saw in military intelligence,â€ť he said. â€śYou have to know what other people believe, what they are doing, and why they are different.
â€śDo you understand?â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll try, Dadâ€¦.â€ť
Life came to prove each and every point my Dad made. I often called upon his talk that day.
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