My father Arnold Nauman, lived from 1926 to 2007. He was born in Long Island NY and moved with most of his family to upstate NY after WWII. His father (my grandfather) bought a country general store and the plan was for my uncle and father to work in the store with my grandfather. Before too long my uncle became the Postmaster of that small town and it was mainly my father and grandfather running the store.
Fast forward a whole lot of years…..and I was working in the same store—convinced (by both my father and myself) that I would be following in my father’s footsteps and running that store into the next century! But…..in the summer of 1977 after having visited a place called “Elkhart Indiana”, I was growing increasingly restless working in that store—which was unusual because up until then I had felt total contentment!
By the time fall came, I told my father I was moving to Elkhart and the day came when I hung up my apron in that store for the last time…..
On a cold morning in October 1977, with everything I owned in my car I was ready to start my next chapter of life! As I got in my car to warm it up, I saw an envelope with my name on it sitting on the steering wheel. (I remembered my dad had a set of keys to my car “just in case”.) I didn’t know what was in the envelope, but decided not to open it until I was at least half way to Elkhart…..
As it turned out, that letter is one of my most valuable possessions and I’ll share it with you now—just as he wrote it to me…..
As you leave here to strike out on your own, I want to say a few things to you. First, I love you and pray for you every day-and I always will continue to do both. You have always been a good son-not needing much discipline. You are just about the age I was when I left Long Island. But you are making the opposite change that I did. I went from a populated area to nowhere, and you are going from nowhere to a populated area. Some things I would remind you of would be the following:
- Honor The Lord in your living and your giving.
- Select your intimate friends and dates from Christians.
- Don’t fret about failures or mistakes. God forgives, and He may sometimes test you to see how you react to adverse situations and conditions.
- Seek the help and guidance of your pastor if needed.
- If things should not work out for you, you will always be welcome to come home.
I am proud of you as a son, and also proud that you are willing and desirous of going off on your own to a land where the opportunities are greater. In a way, I envy you. But perhaps someday The Lord will work it out for all of us to follow you.
God bless you always,
As I read Dad’s letter again ….. I couldn’t help but think of how in 2007 Dad really went from “nowhere” to the greatest populated area that’s beyond anything we could imagine! And because of what Christ did for each of us…..we have the choice to follow!
Thank you Dad!
Till Next Time…..