CH A P T E R 2 Der Anfang—The Beginning The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7) M innesota seemed like another world, another epoch in time, compared to Hainichen, Germany in 1844, the year of my birth. It was the center of stoic Ger- man industry, a town of weavers and clothiers. Small family businesses housed in sturdy, tidy brick buildings. My father ad- hered to the strict traditions of his profession. Rugs were his business, weaving the strength of his very being. He was strong and strict and taught us to work and follow the traditions. As a child, the weight upon my shoulders was a physical load. I carried the heavy spools of thread to my father’s factory. We weaved the rugs, carried on the daily toil for those who ran the country; we carried on the daily load of commerce. Work was my father’s joy, and he gave me the blessing of his toil. I learned to persevere, to carry the load of everyday labor. I knew that ac- complishments were not realized in mere moments. I learned that we must strive and persevere to get the job done. The spools of thread taxed my frail body, yet I strengthened and toughened to the task. The beginnings of my life were filled with training, and even this training was provided by God for