My Dad passed away just a couple of days before his birthday in 2019. A casual thing to some who were not really close to this great man, but to others, a devastating moment that the patriarch of our tribe was gone from our eyes.
He was normally a man of few words, a quiet man that spoke volumes in his own way. He left us with towers of wisdom that one can only see by looking back. Now after some time of healing and reflection of a life that most definitely stands out, we can see that he touched a great many lives in a unique way.
He took in many to shepherd them over the years and in most cases was taken advantage of, even by his family and closest friends at times. He never stopped trying to help people and he always had a soft spot in his heart for children.
I never worried about things when I was growing up; all I had to do was ask my Dad. We never had much, but we were always blessed and our actual needs were always somehow met. His entire family helped each other out and was a reflection of a generation all but gone now.
Marshall Andrew Turner, Specialist 5 US Army
Well today on the anniversary of his birth, I wish to honor the man, the Dad, the soldier and my earthly shepherd.
A shepherd's job is to feed, lead and meet needs.
It wasn't always easy, and sometimes it looked like there wasn't a way but we made it through.
God is the ultimate source for everything, but He does it through people. My Dad was definitely one of them.
Thank you Dad for who you were and for everything you did for us, and still doing today. The sacrifices, the long hours and the patience to endure the things that you really were unable to change.
In the words of an old Brad Paisley song... "I hope I'm at least half the dad that he didn't have to be"
When one of my daughters was competing in gymnastics a few years ago, I used to deliver this montra to stick in her head. “Practice and Polish” I’d say. Over and over and over again. (yes, montra not mantra, stick with me here)
Now I did this to get her to think, “what does he mean?”
Well, let’s simply look at the definitions of these two words.
Practice - Noun
1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.
2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
1. perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency.
Polish - Verb
1. make the surface of (something) smooth and shiny by rubbing it.
Side note: rubbing it meaning:
1. to apply pressure and friction to (something) with a circular or backward and forward motion
2. to move (something) with pressure along, over, or against (a surface) [friction]
3. to chafe or fray [because of friction again]
4. (tr) to bring into a certain condition by rubbing [friction]
Some common synonyms of practice are custom, habit or usage.
Common usage of polish is “To refine or remove flaws from; to perfect or complete”
So, in short what I was trying to teach her is to train and develop a good habit of training and to train often. (practice) Learn the steps (routine), forwards, backwards and sideways. Look at your technique and improve. Muscle memory, like a dance step. Invest. Be able to do it in your sleep. Learn to understand. Observe. Find your strengths and weaknesses. Understand to improve. Prepare your brain to meditate in the midst of activity.
Look for the little things that your competition may be better at than you and work on those until those little bumps become smooth. (polish) Be flexible, listen to others observing you (coach) and be humble enough to take in what others offer. Learn to be objective and continue to improve. (refine).
Practice = the journey, the rough into something resembling greatness. A reflection of the effort.
But the surface still has a texture, with small bumps along the way.
So, Polish the surface into something so smooth there is a reflection of excellence that all can recognize.
I say all of this to ask; Are you Training?
Seek your crown in everything you do. Firearms, safety, awareness and knowledge of spiritual things.
Be Everything you were created to be!
Source: definitions from Merriam-Webster