My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Today I have a blog about some teachings that I can still hear in my head from my dad. I read this Proverbs on January 3rd and was thinking about this phrase, “My son, don’t forget my teachings.” So, to live it out I have six “teachings” that you can see if you can adopt in your life.
“If man can build it, man can take it apart, and man can put it back together again.”
Here is what I learned in this comment from my dad – don’t be afraid of any project. There might be something out on your horizon that looks insurmountable – it’s not. In your own mind break that project down into smaller “bite size” chunks. All you can do is to be faithful to work on each part or segment at any one time.
My dad helped me with some big projects down through the years. He was never overwhelmed. There was always an over-arching positive spin that “it will work out” around any project. This helps. What are your projects? What is your attitude?
“You drive your car hard! I don’t, and my cars last for a long time.”
My dad was born on a farm in 1932. There were no Walmarts or Home Depots to run to. You took care of what you owned. One teaching from my dad that I will always remember and hopefully strive to live out is to take care of what God has supplied.
The most classic story here is how my dad would treat a rental car. He would wash it prior to returning it. He did not have the attitude that permeates today – “It’s a rental!” He had an attitude of – “take care of your things”.
“Mom and I can get 5 meals off one Costco Rotisserie Chicken – pretty good huh?”
I think about my dad any time I throw any food item away – and in the back of my mind I am somehow feeling slightly guilty. I can still see him scraping the last of the peanut butter, or make a sandwich with two heels of the loaf of bread, or ever so carefully get every piece of chicken or turkey from the carcass.
I know I can learn to be more of a saver. It’s just not as much in my generation as his. I still think it’s a good lesson – make the most of what you have and be a great steward! I think it also helped that he had a more simple approach. I think there is a lot to learn from being satisfied with Folgers and not having to have the latest coffee roast.
“Patient, you have to be patient.”
I might purchase the first thing I see that we need. My dad might say, “Well, let’s go see if they have this cheaper at Sears.” As we put in a new toilet I remember we stripped the copper end coming from the wall – which just meant this project got a lot longer. My dad’s response was completely matter-a-fact and patient. There was no frustration, whining, or even anger. It was a patient attitude which in the end served us so well, and taught me that it does no good to get frustrated.
“Well, let’s step away from it, have lunch and a rest, and then see what we think.”
Love this teaching! Sometimes just step away. A situation can look different after a meal, a nap, or a night of sleep. I am convinced a situation can look different after a cup of coffee and a little piece of chocolate.
Is there a situation that you need to remove yourself from so you can get a better vantage point?
“Guys spend a lot of time looking at their projects. If they would just keep working they would get it done a whole lot faster.”
This was a funny memory of my dad. We would drive by someone’s house and see the man in the front yard just looking. Looking at whatever they were working on. It was humorous to my dad – as he thought, “What are you looking at?”
My dad’s teaching was “keep plugging away”. Work hard – even if just a little bit each day on a project. The work will get done.
This also means to start those projects that you have “looked at forever” on your list. Do not be just a looker. What are the projects that need to move off the “look at” list in your life and onto the STARTED list.
Thanks for the teachings dad! I am still striving to implement into my life.