Come to think of it now, every serious conversation that I have ever had with my Dad has been on the subject of theology. However, we only pretend to be great theologians, being that we are farmers after all. Our conversations lack the high-specified jargon that one might find in the halls of Oxford, or Harvard, but common language usually across a milking parlor perhaps, about God.
I can recall numerous times on long car rides with my Dad when we would nearly, and exclusively talk about scriptures. Even if we only had fifteen minutes, every Sunday, about the time it took to get home, he would always ask me what I thought about the sermon. What did the Pastor do well at, and what did he not do well at? How could the sermon have been better? It felt very Socratic, asking questions to come to the truth, sometimes across the living room but mostly in a truck or some run down farm van filled with wrenches of all sizes, and engine parts.
My Dad was my first teacher in Scriptures and still the best.
IT surprises me how similar I am to him sometimes. It is not as though we do not have our side hobbies as well, but we know ultimately deep down inside us that everything, our life, our work would be meaningless without God. Even in emails, there is no, “how are you” or “what’s new,” just the normal inquiry concerning some new profound truth in the scriptures that he thought would be fascinating to talk about. I am so grateful for these conversations, but there have been those times when we both preferred to be in separate rooms from each other as well.
We can both be stubborn, we hardly show emotions, and sometimes we would rather be in a tractor alone out in the field pulling some devise, it doesn’t matter as long as it is silent.
My Dad is an incredibly disciplined person; even across my readings in both fictional and non-fictional literature he surpasses them all. Every morning with the exception of Sunday, he is out of his bed and at work around 5:30 in the morning. He is also determined. Every day he deals with an insurmountable amount of problems. Which on a farm, there are no limits, no exceptions, if it moves, it breaks, if it is at the mercy of the weather it’ll need to be replaced.
My Dad is an artist too.
The tools like his table saw, drill press, his favorite I think, the welding machine, and the highly coveted vice-grips that are almost always missing when you need them are his paint brushes. Whether it is the 5250 International (tractor), the manure wagon, or maybe the endless flat tires are his canvas. The finished work, whatever the master piece is, always expresses a beautiful marriage between high technical skill and talent to produce an impossible outcome of simplicity and practicality, even if it is with a piece of string.
I cannot figure out how he comes up with the different assortment of ideas he has, but he visualizes it, tries it, and miraculously it works. This has taught me to show great persistence even if at first you have no idea how to solve the problem.
But all of this aside, he is a faithful man to God, a believer constantly in pursuit of knowing Him more each day, and to me the greatest theologian in the 21st Century. Specifically referring to his heart for evangelism.
There is no greater moment in time when a husband becomes a father to engage with the unsaved, the hopeless, and the lost people of this world then by telling his sons and daughters the Gospel. My Dad was the means by which God used to bring me to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I could never express my gratefulness for his active role in my life to show me what a disciple of Christ does. I know for sure, I would not be at this school, or have any desire for academics, and the things of God, if it were not for my Dad. There is no other Dad from history that has ever lived, or currently living, and will ever live in the future that I would rather have had. I know not few sons can say this about their own Dad but he is my hero.