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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Father Gives Legacy to Young Son

My Dad, Wilfrid Woodford, has always been a hard working man. When I was just four, we moved to a new location where he would supervise the delivery of bread for a major bread company. He had to be on hand late each night when the daily shipment of bread and baked goods arrived by truck at his local depot. Each day Dad and 5 or 6 other drivers, which he supervised, would deliver those fresh baked goods door to door on their respective delivery routes in the surrounding communities.

But after a number of years of serving in this capacity, Dad’s supervisor came to tell him that their company was restructuring and that he would soon be coming to our town to take over Dad’s responsibilities as the local supervisor. Naturally, Dad asked him what his job would be at that time. His supervisor told him to choose the best delivery route of the men whom he currently supervised and take it.

Dad knew if he did that, one of the men that he had supervised would ultimately have no job. Dad was not the kind of man who would do such a thing, so he told his supervisor that he would rather resign than bump one of his men out of his job.

When Dad first came home and told us that he would soon be out of work, I did not fully realize what his decision would cost him. But as I watched him over the next few years, his conviction, displayed in that one moment of testing, became for me the greatest legacy my Dad could ever give to me, his son!

Dad is a man of few words, but a man who lives what he believes. He practices what he knows the Bible teaches and leaves the preaching to others! When Dad resigned he had a wife and 4 children to support (I was the youngest). But jobs for which he was qualified were scarce. So Dad, who was willing to work at a job which was not to his liking, took on the task of being the local “Fuller Brush man”. He was no salesman, but his task was seeking to sell a wide variety of brooms, brushes and household cleaning products to housewives in our community.

I can remember sitting at our supper table awaiting Dad’s return from offering his products for sale. Many times our meal was finished and we were still waiting for him to return home after a long day on the road. We would eagerly await the news that he had made some good sales that day, but often Dad would come home tired and discouraged with not a sale to report for all his trouble.

It was then that I began to realize what Dad’s convictions about putting others’ interests above his own were costing him. Those were very lean times in our home as far as material goods were concerned but I began to realize that my Dad was a man of principle who would rather walk a very difficult road with a clear conscience than walk an easy road without one. His example has encouraged me at a number of crisis points in my own experience when tough decisions had to be made. (I hope to share some of those in posts to come.) But as a result of my Dad’s example, I’ve learned something of the truth expressed by Henry Blackaby in his book Experiencing God- knowing and doing the will of God, “Obedience to God is always costly right on the front end, but the dividends multiply in the long run.” The corollary is also true….Disobedience to God is always the easiest thing to do at the moment, but the sad consequences also multiply with time!


The Woodford's said...

Hi Dad!
Thanks so much for this - it is an encouragement to me!
Love, Steph

Philip, Joia and Keenan said...

Hey Dad, I'm so excited about your blog - this first post is incredible.. a story I never knew about Grandpa! What a testimony!

love you, Joia =0)

Pfennig said...

hi, thanks for sharing...God's grace giving us the divine enablement to do His will...EXPERIENCING GOD is one of my favorite reads...

Naomi said...

This is the kind of story that my soul, daily, needs to hear. Thanks so much for bringing me 'today's' needed portions.
As I read, a few hours ago while reviewing my notes in my copies of Elisabeth Elliot's early mission biographies, "Jesus Christ came to a tough and a risky life. He left a trail of weakness, suffering, and shame behind Him."
Add to that I Corinthias 2: 1-5, and you have a fully rounded out picture.
It is, indeed, immeasureably better to walk the difficult road, with Christ, than to walk the easy road, without Him.
Praise God for the faith heritage, of godly-wise parents!!
May we, by His grace, be such to our children
(both the spiritual ones as well as the biological ones).

Bruce Woodford said...

Hi Naomi!
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note of encouragement. Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful!