While my childhood friends spent their Christmas breaks relaxing or spending time with my other friends, I was forced to wake up at an obscenely early hour, put on several layers of warm clothing, and will myself out into the world.
By Daniel Darling, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
My father, for reasons that were mysterious to me in my teenage years, thought it important for me to work with him in his plumbing business. I worked with Dad on almost every school break and most summers, installing copper water lines, plastic drainage piping, and steel gas lines in new homes.
Though I knew early on that, unlike Dad, I wasn’t especially gifted to work in construction, I got pretty good at plumbing houses. But more important than the opportunity to earn money were the lessons I learned about hard work and Christian calling. These lessons didn’t occur to me until well after I stopped working for my father and began finding my way in my own career.
Dad isn’t a trained theologian. He doesn’t have a college degree. But he spoke into my life powerful lessons about the dignity of working hard and working well. Dad, a quiet man, is known as a Christian by the quality of his work and the integrity of his character. I stopped counting the days when he insisted we stay on the job longer than I thought we needed to, simply so he could perfect his work. “But Dad,” I learned not to bother to argue, “nobody will see those pipes in the wall. Why do you care about them being so straight and uniform?”
“Son,” Dad would say, “I see it. And more importantly, God sees it.”