I was watching a documentary on Henry Ford last night and saw that he was born the son of a successful farmer. While he was growing up on the farm, he would get distracted by the machines that were being used on the farm. He would consider how they were put together, how they ran and how they could be better. He did this at the sacrifice of his farm jobs.
Instead of punishment for the missed chores, his father set him up a workbench for him to explore his fascination with machinery. He validated the skill which was indicated by the appetite and affirmed the passion by accommodating its exploration. He released his son to the beginnings of what he would eventually become and always was.
The first instinct for most of us would quite possibly have been correction to get young Henry back on his chores. We might very well have crushed the emerging expertise with words of discouragement when we should be stoking the flame with encouragement. All too often, we would have been distracted by the immediate at the expense of the possible.
Fathers release sons with blessing and affirmation. Fathers do this from a position of confidence in their own place. Henry’s father had to have been secure enough as a farmer to release his son to become the engineer which he was designed to be. If this young engineer had been forced to farm, the result would have been disastrous on all fronts.
Fathers, when operating as true fathers, reflect the nature and character of the Father. Our Father wants to breathe affirmation and Life into our dreams, passions and abilities. He is confident in His place as I Am, not trying to hold us back to color in the lines by following a bunch of rules. Instead, He releases us to explore and develop the purposes He has created within us.
Are you working on the farm while your workbench is waiting? Do you have a son in your life who needs to be released to their workbench?