The Blacksmith of My Manhood

My father in his trusty Model A pickup 

My father in his trusty Model A pickup 

Give a lad a training suitable to his character and, even when old, he will not go back on it.

Proverbs 22:6 Catholic Online 

   Good fathers remain indispensable to every child on the planet.  A father is the person God entrusts to look at each child he gives them, and call them into adulthood.  Fathers should take the faith filled heart a mother forms, and steel it like a blacksmith works metal.  The steel must withstand every tempest the world will throw at it until our bodies fade to dust.  I am blessed my father did this for me, and I accepted his molding to form the man I am.

    From an early age I remember my Dad as a pillar of strength and determination.  He still gets up before dawn, works long hours, deployed at our nation’s call for forty-five years, learned things from diverse resources way before the birth of the internet, demands honesty and gives it unfailingly, requires common sense be applied to all critical thinking, expects you to know a fact based history on what you speak, and displays a dogged determination to achieve which puts a bulldog to shame.  My father steeled my heart to respect my mother and her core values.  He then slowly built a frame around my heart to carry me into adulthood.  

    My father’s greatest wisdom, in forming his children, was to ensure we knew how to think.  My father knew our world would be as different from his as his world was from his father’s.  As a result, he knew his children needed well rounded educations grounded in those family core values.  This frame protected us, gave us limbs to build new futures, and a head to seek the wisdom of the Lord in new faraway lands when he was not there to guide us.  My father trained our character traits to last a lifetime.  

    After meeting many people with dads who failed to accept their duties as fathers, I know I am a blessed child.  I also believe this is why I am committed to do the mission my father does, but often shields from view of his own children.  My father throughout the years tended to lost sheep, and got them better prepared to meet the world.  He gave these lost sheep the blacksmithing their fathers should have given, or the sheep rejected out of the pride of youth.  Some responded well, others did not.  In any case he tried, and willingly gave of himself without desire for acclaim or fortune.

   I am blessed with a Dad who embodies God’s call for father’s to follow.