A Teachable Spirit

“For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice…” Genesis 18:19

My father who was born in 1912, would have been 97 yrs. old this September. He grew up in a small Italian neighborhood in Detroit, with his parents Angelo and Antoinetta and two brothers Joseph and Florindo, he embraced life while he was here. He was my age when he passed away. That seems like such a short time to be alive, but I know each of us is here for such a short time. A lasting inheritance is more important than longevity and my father blessed me with that.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3

My father was blessed with a teachable spirit. He embraced life and people. In World War II he served on a ship in the Pacific as a ships doctor. I’m sure he saw much sorrow as he tried to put young lives back together. He and a Japanese prisoner of war exchanged stories of family. This prisoner painted a beautiful oil portrait of my sister Paula from a photograph my father carried. It was painted on a piece of old canvas, all they could find on the ship. My sister still has this picture and the memories.

He spent most of his life working as a physician in an inner city hospital in Detroit. I don’t think as children we understood the stress, the demands on his time. We knew he was gone a lot. We missed him. He worked six days a week, but he was always there for us in spirit, just as he continues to be with us now. He knew the value of an education for those growing up in the inner city of Detroit and was active in a program that sent inner city children to college. He blessed my siblings and I with the freedom to be free thinkers and stood by us when we often stumbled.

We have to make many choices in a 24-hour day. We need to reconfirm every day what is of value to us. Genesis 18:19, helps us to realize that as children of God we have been chosen and are directed by Him to do what is right and just. We may be living in an age of irresponsibility, but as God’s children we have responsibilities. Do we take time to listen and are we being directed by God? We can start by praying for a teachable spirit. We can ask our Father God for specific direction on how to raise our children to do what is right and just. 

            A Blessing For Fathers 

            Go on your way to peace. Be of good courage. 
            Hold fast to that which is good. Render to no man evil for evil. 
            Strengthen the faint-hearted. Support the weak. Help and cheer the sick. 
            Honor all men. Love and serve the Lord. 
            Grow and be more like Jesus. Trust Him for your courage and strength. 
            May the blessing of God be upon you and be with you always.

Lois Autterson

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