Inspiration: My Grandfather, Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr. and Proverbs 3
The first thought of this great man that comes to mind is the amount of wisdom he possessed. Always willing to teach… show… inspire… I know many always focused on the tangible of my grandfather. And yes, it had its place. But then there was the intangible of my grandfather. His strength… His knowledge… His tenacity… His perseverance… His Love of Christ…
Here’s a man that was all about his walk with Christ. He would speak on it, but he preferred to put it in action. Always humble with a servant’s heart. Always willing to help fellow man out. Always the defender of family.
I can recall many times of being in the workshop with grandpa. There I was, helping him build this and that. In the garage or car port helping him work on Betsy … That’s what we called his blue truck. How many times, did I have to go on a job with him and we first stop at Hardees… I’d get sausage biscuit lol… He get his steak biscuit and from there… we are installing furniture all day LOL! Those were some good times… As he got older, we would talk and talk and talk. He would always tell me, “Vincent… Always keep God first and you will be alright.”
I continue to hold onto those words, especially now that he is no longer here. After learning of his death, I was going through my phone and stumbled across something that reminded me of some things that he would always tell me…
Proverbs 3:1-6; 21-26 (NIV)
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
2 For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 For the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
Here’s a man that understood what it meant to love you the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. Here’s a man that understood what it meant to love your neighbor as yourself.
Here’s a man that understood and applied Romans 15:1-2… paraphrasing, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. We should have a desire to build up fellow man for their good.
Here’s a man that understood that he still had joy when facing trials, because the testing of his faith develops perseverance and that perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…
This was a man that stuck by his motto: “To let your yea be yea and you nay be nay…”
Grandpa… you were blessed to live an incredible life. You taught so many… You were instrumental in my love for math, science, and technology. You were inspirational in my career choice in statistics. You were the standard of a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, brother, cousin, friend… but most of all… You set the standard of a man of God. I hope to be half the man you were. God I thank you for my grandfather, Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr. For the wisdom You blessed him with. For the love of family he had for us. Grandpa, you were my last earthly father… but you now are another angel watching over me. I will miss you. Take your rest… You have earned it.
P.S. Kiss Grandma for me. Tell Dad hey… I love you.
Haywood Perry Barnes, Sr… Natural Birth: September 9, 1927 ~ Eternal Birth: September 17, 2016