Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Confused Today

Cars were always a big issue with my father. He bought a new one every 3 years. His excuse was he didn’t want to take care of problems older cars had, so he traded them in under the 36k mile warranty. There was more to the story. My father, Waldamar Walter Zimmermann, was born to German thinking, English speaking parents, Max and Anna, in pre WWII Los Angeles California. Grandpa, born in 1889, was raised in a military family in Vienna, Austria (think Sound Of Music) and immigrated with his family just prior to WWI. Naturally there was some confusion in the Zimmermann house hold about how things should run. LA and Vienna are worlds apart in every way. Grandpa’s family view was based on a strict German Military code. Dad could not relate to this code out of country. By American thought and standards, grandpa was way off base, but by German thought and standards, he was mainstream, rather typical. Tons of issues erupted for my father as a teenager, but none bigger than the 37 Chevy. The details are a little cloudy but as dad recounts, he bought a 37 Chevy and when it was paid for grandpa claimed it, took it and kept it. Dad had to buy another car for himself. Dad told me the story when I was an adult. It still really bothered him 40 years later that his father would do such a thing. It was a small shock to me. I had never detected a ripple between them. It was unfair, at least by LA thinking. I was a Psy. Major in College and although I agreed it was unfair in LA, it was the expected norm where grandpa came from. Granted, when grandpa was a teenager no one had a car in Vienna but there was an underlying principle that governed and justified his actions. I reminded Dad that Grandpa was just following the model of his culture and thinking. In Vienna, It was expected that the son would take care of any need of the father. Grandpa was consistent with his culture. He had taken in
both his father and his father in law. This insight tripped a flood memories and for dad, it finally made sense and he was at peace. Odd how people react to confusion. Dad’s life long reaction to losing a car? He made sure his little brother got one, my sister and I both had cars and a credit card for gas! When the Lord took him home he left me a Cadillac. I don’t have car issues and I am a truck man. I gave it to my sister.

Why am I telling you this? First, in general, I am the last link to the past my children know. They have no real contact with my family. For Doni, I am documenting a little of our family histroy and stories. Specifically today, I am a little confused with Father. I do not understand (or particularly like) some things that are to me quite threatening and if I dwell on the will become discouraging. I know I am in the LA of life and He is in the Alps of Vienna and there will be things I could not possibly understand, try as I might, until he decides to enlighten me. I am just trying to do what Dad did. For 40 years he did not understand but had a loving relationship with his father anyway. I am trying to follow that example. I don’t have to understand the ways of heaven to trust the Loving Father. I hate to admit that I am fighting fear and depression, but thats just the way it is today. I can only lose if I quit fighting. Jesus said there would be days like this.

LK 11:5 Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

LK 11:7 "Then the one inside answers, `Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

LK 11:9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

LK 11:11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"


Aimee said...

I'm lifting you up in prayer today Dad. Your honesty is refreshing and helps me see His perfection through your imperfection. After all, we are all human:).

Doni Brinkman said...

You have no idea how much I appreciate that you are documenting our histories in this fashion. I love love love it and am going to keep all your posts for my kids.

heidi jo said...

what a precious story to give insight to Father's ways that seem like such a mystery. i hope i can remember this one... austria/la, austria/la... :)