In the Bible we learn about a time when Jesus Christ was conversing with the doctors in the temple. When Mary and Joseph find Him they ask where he has been and what he has been up to. Christ responds that He has “been about His father’s business.” With the 11-year-anniversary of my father’s passing this week, I have been wondering to myself over and over how to follow the Savior’s example and be about my Father’s business–both my earthly and my Heavenly Father.
I’ve just been thinking lately… what if… (yes I know this is silly) my Dad were suddenly to show up one day, where would he find me? What would he find me doing? Would he be pleased or disappointed with me and where I am at in my life? How well am I going about my Father’s business as I wait for a reunion with him one day?
I determined that I first needed to know what Dad’s business was on earth so that I could check myself and my progress. As I pondered the thought I narrowed it down to a list of five things: First Dad was about the business of bringing others closer to Christ. Second, He was about the business of being kind and offering service to other people. Third, He was about the business of family. Fourth, Dad was about the business of learning. Fifth, Dad was about the business of bugs.
First, dad brought others closer to Christ. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know he drew me closer to the Savior. I remember some very important long in-depth conversations we had about spiritual things. We used to sing the hymns together, talk about our favorite scriptures, what we learned in church, and how to gain a testimony. Dad’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon was the one that first made me attempt to read and pray for myself. Dad taught me how to pray and to be specific to get specific answers.
Second, dad was kind and offered service to other people. It always made me laugh when Dad would come home from the neighbor’s house. He would suddenly be on a mission to find the car part they needed to fix their car, or to fix some problem he could see they had. People probably will never know how intently he listened to their needs. He worried about others, and when he couldn’t come up with a solution he would think for a very long time about what he could do to find someone who could.
Third, dad was about the business of family. He loved all of us. He used to love to sit around and talk about each member of our immediate family, and extended family. He talked about what he learned from his siblings and his parents. He always told us that family should come first. He wasn’t perfect at making that happen all the time, but we always knew it was his desire. One journal entry I read after his passing told of a day when he put a VFW meeting before my 8th grade graduation. He wrote how mad I was, and how it humbled him to think he had put someone before me. Looking back I laugh at my own selfishness, but appreciate his concern because it taught me the value of putting my family first.
Fourth, Dad was about the business of learning. He always wanted to know more. His pile of do it yourself books was tremendous! He couldn’t get enough. He taught himself to fix our cars so that he could save money. He taught himself to build a deck. He taught himself to use computers and became quite efficient at them. While he taught himself, he taught me to value learning and becoming something more. He believed in more than a formal education, he believed in lifelong learning.
Fifth, Dad was about the business of bugs. Quite literally, he was an exterminator. He studied that as well and always tried to learn the newest and best ways to protect people and their homes. He didn’t only kill the pests though; he was often looking for bugs in his own life and trying to get rid of them. Over and over in his journal he “declared war on Satan”. In my mind, there isn’t a bigger bug than Satan, and his influence surely should be extinguished from our lives.
While I have been checking and rating myself on how I am doing, I won’t share with you where I am. However, I invite you rate yourself. See if you are about your Father’s business–your earthly father, but also your Heavenly Father. Are you about your Father’s business?
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.