This blog entry will be a little different from all others. I am feeling a bit sentimental today as my oldest son turned 10 and I decided to write him this open letter.
It’s actually to both my boys and tackles subjects that they probably aren’t really ready for, yet. But, this is where I am as Dad.
So, as an open letter… I share it with you.
Many blessings to my friends and any fellow parents out there.
To my boys,
As I sit here amidst the torn wrapping paper from your 10th Birthday party gifts, watching you and your brother play, I think about your future. Noah and Nathan, I couldn’t be more proud of who you are and who I see you are becoming.
Beyond this moment, I look around this broken world I am reminded, everyday, to pray to our Lord for His direction, protection and provision.
I pray that you will never be convinced by the television that you have to get more and more stuff to make you happy. This is a path that has no end and the journey has no friends.
I pray that you will never let another’s words make you feel small. God has said you are His child and the work of His hands. And personally, of all the things I have ever accomplished in this life from degrees to jobs to awards, there is nothing that compares to you. You are the greatest thing God has allowed me to produce in my life.
I pray that your eyes will not betray your heart. As you grow older and your interests turn from video games to girls, I ache to know the struggle you will endure to stay pure. I pray that the young ladies God will put in your path as you grow into manhood will conduct themselves in behavior and dress in such a way that your eyes do not stray.
I pray that you would never replace your Jesus with a god who stars in music videos, makes the ESPN highlight reels or has a spot on any reality show. May you never idolize anything that the world says is cool, awesome or is a cheap imitation of what matters or can really make a difference.
I pray that you will hear a call of God to do whatever He has made you for and that you will settle for nothing less. May you never bend to the will of some coach who wants to elevate his masculinity through your sacrifice. May you never offer your soul to the highest bidder as you climb some corporate ladder. May you never feel compelled to live the dreams of your parents if they diverge far from the paths God has for you. May you follow Him and Him alone.
I pray the mistakes I have made will be roads that you will not have to travel. May I clearly mark these ways as dangerous and show you other routes and paths to take as you become the men and followers of Christ that I know you can become.
I pray the mistakes you do make will be your own and be bold. That you learn well, learn fast, learn once and move on. You are allowed to fail and expected to do so. It’s the only way to find success, but my prayer is that each failure would lead you to success.
Finally, I pray that you boys would be blessed; not necessarily happy, but blessed. I believe that your happiness will come out of a life that is blessed. And, how do you find a life of blessing? Micah 6:8 says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
As I sit here tonight and watch you celebrate this birthday, I am thankful for your time of being a little boy, excited for your upcoming young adulthood and proud for your eventual manhood. But, more than anything else I feel the need to say this, I love you.
No matter what you choose to become in life, or where the path of your many loves may take you; no matter how often you may change your course, or how ever often you may choose to ‘surprise’ us with the variety of options that make up who you are, remember this… you keep Jesus first, and I’ll always be proud of you.
And, no matter what, you have my love. There’s nothing you can do to change that.
Good night boys, sleep well, I’ll be praying for you tonight.
More of Him and less of me,
Side issue for the day that I’m really excited about because a friend of mine is in charge of this national/international push:
Today launched the 50k in 50 days campaign. A great charity in Nashville is trying to get money to buy 50,000 pairs of shoes raised in 50 days…
The cool thing is only $5 buys 2 pairs of shoes!!
It takes under 2 minutes to donate and only three clicks – super easy!
So if you think this is something you can do…five bucks, three clicks, two minutes = two pairs of shoes to someone in need, just visit http://www.50000shoes.com/.
More importantly, this can only happen if we spread the word…so please forward this on to anyone you know…the people you work with, your mom, whoever!!
Oh, and one person who donated will win a trip to Mexico to hand deliver the shoes they bought to someone who has never owned shoes before. Could you imagine giving someone their very first pair of shoes?
All donations are tax deductible of course.
Thanks for your support! This seems like a very Jesus thing to do… don’t you think?