But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (1Corinthians 1:27 KJV)
I‚Äôve noticed over the years that many father figure examples are camouflaged with all kinds of coverings. They come in all kinds of shapes, forms and persuasions.
Sometimes there‚Äôs a real father figure diamond in the rough right in front of you if you will only open your eyes and look. Such was the case for me when I was thirteen years old. I had already been on my own for a while when I had the rare privilege of meeting and working for an old man that was commonly known as the junk man.
He didn‚Äôt look like much and sometimes he didn‚Äôt even act like much, but he was industrious.
He lived on a little farm in East Texas in a small unpainted house in the woods off a deep sandy road.
His relationship with his wife was zero. As a matter of fact, at night she even made him sleep on a cot in the chicken house with nothing separating him from the weather except chicken wire. However, he seemed to be happy with that arrangement because I never heard him complain. Not that it would have made any difference because she was tougher than a wart hog.
The old man was also a part time preacher.
We would travel up and down those East Texas sandy roads Monday through Saturday visiting every farm looking for scrap iron to sell. We were commonly known by folks as ‚Äúthe old junk man and his boy.‚ÄĚ It seemed like a great job to me because my duties were to drive his raggedy old truck.
You may think to yourself, what in the world could you possible learn from a father figure like that? Actually, I learned many things that continue to be profitable to this day.
I learned how to handle the rejection of others in a more graceful way by watching the old man handle his chicken house experience. Today, life is full of chicken house experiences that will get you down if you let them. The thing that was the real lesson to me was that even though the old man had to sleep in the chicken house, the chicken house never slept in him.
The second lesson I learned from the old man was that there‚Äôs treasure in junk. Today as I minister and I see a person whose life looks like junk, I begin to look for the richness and wealth hidden beneath the surface. Your life may be ragged, ripped and torn apart, but because of the lessons I learned from the old junk man, I can see treasures in your life.
The next lesson I learned from the old junk man was that true success was not in the getting of things, but the ability to enjoy the simple things of life.
I am in my seventies now and I continue practicing each of those wonderful life lessons I learned so many years ago. I feel grateful each time I remember the days of driving the old pickup truck up and down those deep sandy roads in the back woods of East Texas, picking up junk and learning from an old man who slept in the chicken house‚Ä¶
Was he really a junk man in my life or Jesus in disguise training me for my future role as a minister of the gospel? Hmmm!
I see so many lives today that could benefit from having an old junk man around to teach them real life lessons.
I thank you for teaching me some of the most important lessons of my life through an ordinary old junk man. I also thank you Lord for helping me discover the joy of simplicity. I pray I will never forget how to teach others in the same simplistic way that I was taught.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries