A Letter to My Son:
You are not aware but I began thinking about you a long time ago. When I was just a boy myself, I thought about what you would look like, what kind of personality you would have, all the things we would do together. It may seem strange but I suppose I was a thinker early on because you’re great-grandfather was a thinker. He could most times be found doing one of two things; working on something around the house or sitting quietly thinking. I spent a lot of time with him growing up so it is no wonder I live life quietly, my feeling and emotions contained within, for the most part.
As years past, I thought of you more. I thought of how I would do it differently than my dad did. I suppose this is natural. It makes sense for us to want better for our kids than we had ourselves. I thought most of you, not because I did not want a girl, but because you are what I could relate to. I could see myself in the future you. Then, when you came, I laid hands on you and blessed you. No one but God knows or can recall, the content of those prayers. Only He can count the number of times I watched you sleeping and placed my hand on your head. I would close my eyes and ask God for His protection and cover over you. I would offer you to Him and ask Him to take care of you until you were of age to understand and chose Him for yourself. I felt like it was all I could ask for. If I could only have that one wish, it would be enough. For you to reach adolescence healthy and have an opportunity to accept or deny Him yourself would be a success.
Now, years into this, I still want that same basic thing. I want you to grow strong and healthy with plenty opportunity to be a worry-free kid. However, I realize now that I also want more. Not in a selfish way, just that I now understand more has been promised to you. Being promised something does not mean it is automatic. You will have to work hard and grow intentionally to fulfill your potential. Today my prayer for you is as follows:
Character: Your character is everything. I pray that you will be true to your word, even if it is inconvenient for you. I hope you remain trustworthy not matter what happens around you. I know you will take up for those who do not have what you have. I can already tell you will protect those not as strong as you and look after those you love. I just pray God strengthens you. I pray you’ll be disciplined, as discipline alone will solve many problems.
Learn: I pray you will continue to learn throughout your life. There are more things to learn than time to do them, pick several to be the best at and never stop intentionally learning. It is easier to do other things (like watch television) but these will leave you empty. Intentional learning will bring fulfillment to your life and assist with growing your character.
Grow: I hope you live in the joy and contentment of your calling because it is real and it is important. But, you can be content and still yearn to grow. There is always a better version of you just beyond hard work and sacrifice. I pray you’ll find a balance between who you are at each stage of life and the legacy you wish to leave.
Teach: Zig used to say, “You can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” Never keep to yourself what could help others. I pray you’ll give freely what has been given to you. Share your knowledge and help others grow inside and outside of your circle of trust. You will have a positive influence on the life of others if you help teach them what they struggle to understand or control.
Each year passes by faster than the last. You’re young now but growing quickly into the man you will become. I’m always in your corner praying for your success. I recognize my most important leadership role is being a father. I am as proud as anyone can be of who you are and of what is inside of you. I am excited to watch you leave a mark on this world and all the people you will lead.