For several years my search to complete a ‘sure fire’ success model eluded me. Then, sight unseen, I volunteered to do a scripture reading. The reading seemed very politically incorrect; put the woman in her place, then dump on her. But as I pondered the words I found the ancient Hebrews had the answer for my success model. This success secret was not for women only. To assure my success I would have to define and then implement the highest possible standards.
Time passed and after prostate cancer had had its way with dad; I pondered the question ‘what did dad give us, his four sons?’ Those Book of Proverbs words motivated this eulogy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the ones who fear the Lord are to be praised.
Give them a reward of their labors, and let their works praise them at the city gates.
These words describe what dad was about in many ways. They warn of the risks associated with charm and that beauty, if we have it at all, may not last. Labor is a reward that can draw praise at the city gates.
Dad was no charmer, and he knew that beauty was only skin deep. He labored hard throughout his life. His plastering, gardening, and hunting skills were locally respected. These works earned him praise.
What about fear of the Lord? Our first thought might be that one who fears the Lord could only be the person who spends all his time in prayer and performing acts of kindness. But, if we look deeper, one who fears the Lord is someone like dad: He knew right from wrong – we knew that because we saw it in his practices. He knew good work from bad: the properly plastered wall – from an inferior job; the lush and thriving garden – from plantings among the weeds; the carefully planned and executed hunt – from amateurs loose in the woods. If the job could not be done correctly, he was not the one to do it. Dad had high standards.
What did dad give us? He achieved neither fortune nor Hollywood style fame. If we yearned for these, he could not give them to us. He gave us his secrets for success: something worth far more than money, property, or glory; something we can use over and over again; something we can all pass on to our children, and they to theirs.
For generation after generation the fruits of dad’s labors will continue to praise him loudly at the city gates.
Thank you dad!
This I believe.
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