My Hopes for My Son

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The marvel of becoming a father is that something so commonplace can be something so special. An event, which happens to tens of thousands each day from east to west, north to south of the globe, is a happening utterly unique. It is a wondrous experience to be a witness at the birth of a soul.

Just as his coming is unique, so too is he as a person. Never before has there been a personality just like his. Never again will, there be a life lived like his. He will be shaped by the world in a way that no one else has ever been shaped. He will shape the world in a manner inimitable.

It is strange that in an age where the uniqueness of the individual has never been more closely perceived, respect for the worth of an individual is at such a low point. Commitment to material prosperity as life’s goal must, I suppose, have, as a direct consequence, the decline of growth in the human spirit.

Perhaps the birth of a little son makes one especially reflective. Of course, we asked ourselves before Gareth was born, whether it would be fair to bring a child into today’s world with its threats of tomorrow. What kind of world will it be in ten, twenty, fifty years’ time? Will it be better or worse?

We wanted Gareth to be born because we believe that he, and we, can play a part in changing the world; because we believe that is the destiny of each human life. But there is something that goes through my heart even more deeply than my hope for the kind of world we would like for our son. That is the quality of life we would like our son to live. For I know that whether or not he will be a fulfilled person, whether or not he will contribute to making the world a better place, depends not on the world around him but on the spirit inside him.

Our lives are not meant to be reflections of modern trends, bearing the stamp of someone else’s glib ideas and worthless fashions. I long for him to find true independence and freedom of heart, which come in their ultimate from a commitment to serve God and from the priceless gift of faith, solid as a rock in a sea that ebbs and flows.

What other gifts would I like my son to have? A sense of humour and a sense of fun, worth their weight in gold. A vision and a view above and beyond the immediacies of life. Courage. And above all a love for God and people. It is perhaps natural for a father to want for his own son the qualities he feels he himself lacks. Of course, I cannot give them to my son. I cannot even compel him to go looking for them. That is his choice and in the end they are God’s gifts. But I can at least decide to live in a way that helps not hinders, him along the road.

That challenge I accept.

(This writing is not mine. I came across it when I was a new father and it has helped and inspired me ever since. My son is now one of my best friends and someone who makes me immensely proud.)

 

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Why me?

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As darkness holds us in its arms

And peace fills the room.

I listen and look

As you sleep beside me

Peacefully.

I hold you close, your head against my chest

And I ask…Why me?

Why did you choose me?

With your beauty and charm

The world was yours and yet

You chose me.

Thank you God

For giving me the best

My friend, my love, my wife

My Boo…

Why me?

I’ll never understand,

But my heart will rejoice for ever!

(Composed on 30th July 1991 in France as I watched Boo sleep)

Posted in Boo

The Station

The True Joy of Life is the Trip

  

 TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision.  We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent.  We’re travelling by passenger train, and out of the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.

     But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.  On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station.  There will be bands playing and flags waving.  And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true.  So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.  How restlessly we pace the aisles, damming the minutes for loitering, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

     However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of life is the trip.  The station is only a dream.  It constantly out distances us.

     When we get to the station that will be it!” we cry.  Translated it means, “When I’m 18 that will be it!  When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes-Benz, that will be it!  When I put the last kid through college that will be it!  When I have paid off the mortgage that will be it!  When I win a promotion that will be it!  When I reach the age of retirement that will be it!  I shall live happily ever after!”

     Unfortunately, once we get “it,” then “it” disappears.  The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track.

     “Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24:

“This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.  Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow.  Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

     So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.  Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The station will come soon enough.

(This is not my writing but was a piece given to me by a colleague during a busy time in school…it helped!)