One of the tools of those who love the outdoors is a knife. There has always been something special about getting a new knife. I see that same satisfaction in my son. He owns several and is never unhappy when he receives another. It’s almost a rite of passage when a young man gets his first. Some weaker types cringe at the thought of their son having a knife. I cringe at the thought of them cringing over such a common and natural thing.
I have several warm memories of my youth experiences with knives. One of them involved Tom. Tom was a man in his upper seventies and I was only a teenager. Tom was wise and crafty. I was dumb and naive. Tom had more knives than I could ever imagine. Some of them use to be mine until he traded me out of them. At that time, I thought that I had made the smarter trade. Today I know different. Tom couldn’t read or write but had more common sense and wisdom than most of the people I knew. He was also a very spiritual man. His ministry involved making sure that each home had been dedicated to the Lord. If it hadn’t, he would gather a small congregation and meet at the willing participant’s house on a Saturday night. There, someone would give a biblical lesson or preach a sermon, a song would be sung, and Tom would offer a prayer of dedication. Some in my home area are still living in a house that has been dedicated to the Lord by Tom. There were several times that I was the one called on to speak. I learned so much from him. I laugh now when I think about how he would “horse trade” with me. But he was doing so much more than “horse trading.” He was growing up a young man. He was teaching me the cunning ways of the world and the caring ways of the Lord and he was not doing it with something that might have caused me to run away. But he was doing it with something that caused me to want to be around him and something that we both loved; a knife.