Dear child of mine,
I’m not ashamed of you. I may be slightly disappointed but I’m not ashamed. My disappointment is not for my own renown but for my hopes for your future. I am not being prideful. I know there are MANY MANY paths to success and although I value academia, I do not believe it is the only path.
My greatest hopes are not for WHAT you will be but for WHO you will be. I’m sorry my actions may not have reflected this philosophy. As you will find, it is very easy to THINK something but rather difficult to DO something. I am not a very good parent and I have tried to be humble about that.
It’s so easy to look back and see all the things you should have done. Getting a new hot water heater so you can take longer showers is NOT one of them. I should have moved more slowly through life. My now favorite author says “Hurry makes hurt.” She is right. I know it hurt you. I’m sorry.
I should have hugged you more and listened to your stories with fascination. I was always trying to get your head out of the clouds and into your math book. You always had a wonderment that I now envy. All those things you clinch your fist at. All those failings you remember, I’m sorry for those things too.
I do not hope that you will be a lawyer or a welder or a craftsman. I hope and pray you will cherish justice and mercy. I hope you will stand up for the weak. I pray that you will be honest and trustworthy. Never take anything that doesn’t belong to you and that includes images on a screen and woman’s heart
I taught you, all those years, to love learning. That, I believe, I did well. So don’t ever stop learning. Whether you take a class or train under someone or research at the library, keep learning. When you have nothing left to learn, you have one foot in the grave.
Don’t pretend you know something you don’t. That is akin to lying. Pride will only bite you in the backside. Be humble and keep your mouth shut. “I don’t know” are some powerful words.
Your hopeful, positive outlook is your greatest quality. Your second is the ability to make something you imagined into a concrete reality. Keep that amazing outlook and place that hope in Christ. Nurture your talent and one day it may pay the bills. Don’t put life on hold until your talent makes you rich. That is a quick way to the poor house. Pay your bills and hone your skill. This is a recipe for success and happiness.
Be careful who you place your trust in, there is not a friend that is as loyal as a brother. Trust Christ alone when it really matters. We have raised you to follow Christ but you have to CHOOSE to follow him. It matters where your feet and your mind go… not merely your heart, but usually our actions follow what is IN our heart so… GUARD YOUR HEART.
When you stop guarding your heart, when you begin to agree with things contrary to the WORD remember that there is GRACE to come back again. Just remember no one ever said that grace would remove the scars. I would that you might never have ANY scars. I would that you may never HURT.
To hurt for a noble reason, like childbirth or defending the weak, is one thing but to hurt because you agreed with the world and then followed the traditions of man and then found yourself in a pit, that, my child, is another. But if you do fall into a pit and you do become scarred. I still love you and I still want what is best for you and there is a way to have the grace to live with the wounds.
I know a thing or two about being wounded. There were those who scarred me and then there was the damage I did to myself. Being in that pit, it wasn’t so much the broken path that troubled me. It was that there was absolutely NO peace of mind. I couldn’t stand to be alone with my own thoughts. I always had to have music playing or the television on. Reading was not even an escape because the silence always permitted my thoughts to interrupt.
If you find that you are unable to be alone with your own thoughts, take pause. You may find you are in a pit. Don’t keep pushing forward in your bondage. Seek to escape it at all costs. There is a way that seems right to man but in the end leads to death. It may not be a literal death but a living hell.
THAT is what I hope to shield you from. I did not struggle and fight against the bondage of sin and addiction to simply sit back and watch my children bind themselves in the same chains I broke free of. But the awesome truth is that I did not loose my chains, Christ did and he who began a good work in you, will complete it... I believe that.
Don’t throw your dreams away for a girl and don’t let a girl BE your dream. You will only resent her for it. Let your girl be part of your dream and let your children come from that. Your dreams may change as you mature- that’s fine. You know I don’t buy into the “live-in –the-moment” philosophy of the world. But I do recommend that you don’t throw away these moments you have on things that are foolish and fleeting. Use the moments to do meaningful things. Use these moments, while you are young, to do things that matter. No one ever says “I wished I had partied more” or “slept with some perfect strangers more” when they are on their death bed.
Live your life in reverse. What do you want to matter most to you when you are dying? What would you WISH you had done?
Do THAT now…
I love you child,