Swinging the Hammer with Dad

My father is a general contractor. As a kid, I remember riding around with him to and from his different job sites, watching him coordinate the goings-on of the various sub-contractors. I also remember building stuff with him — decks, benches, roofs — all kinds of things. These are some of my most treasured memories. He'd correct my hammer swing, show me where to measure and cut. In all probability, I slowed him down. But, he taught me how to build. Now I've got my own home, and I've remodeled it quite extensively. I know what I'm doing because I know my dad.

I have spiritual fathers, too. And, like my dad, they build stuff. Not houses made of wood and bricks, but spiritual families made of lives and faith. They, like my dad, let me build stuff with them — churches, ministries, movements — all kinds of things.

They, like spiritual fathers, correct my hammer swing, show me how to measure my work correctly, and what to cut. In all probability, I slow them down. They have to circle back sometimes and show me the better way. But, they're teaching me how to build. Now I have my own church, and I know what I'm doing in large part because I know them.

Each generation has a choice — to build fast or to build well. Building fast is very satisfying. We make what we want, the way we want it. But because we've not explained to our sons and daughters the why and how of our structures, they find them ugly and useless. But if we give our kids — natural and spiritual — the chance to swing the hammer with us, we'll build well and they'll build with us. I'm really glad my fathers did this with me.