Monday, July 2, 2007

The Path

My quantified forty years have delivered me to this place; the forefront of this latest path. The end of the course is not clear and obstacles are as of yet, unforeseen. But it’s a course I welcome with such joy. In two days we leave for China. Two days. One week from today, I will meet my daughter for the very first time. I will be a daddy. My wife will be a mommy. Our mothers, who will be accompanying us, will become grandmothers.

So as I prepare to set forth on this new course, I find myself reflecting on the previous course that brought me to this place. A path filled with joys, laughter, pain, regrets, hopes, dreams, adventure, etc. I’m no different than anyone else. My experiences are unique to me, however, in the grand scheme of things, quite common.

Every new parent assesses (hopefully) past experiences to prepare for assuming the role. Again, I’m no different. As I've mentioned before, mine was not the happiest of childhoods. Nor was it the worst. What positives can I take from what I've learned from my parents and transfer to Lily? Two things come to mind right away: 1) My parents had clear expectations of me. I did not get in much trouble (early on) because I knew what was expected of me and I knew there would be consequences issued. 2) Along with the clear expectations was a clear sense of right and wrong. True, these things are written on our hearts by God Himself, (see Romans 1:20 & 2:15) but He used my parents to reinforce this. Although I later rebelled, I knew right from wrong.

But I grew up in a non-religious household. We celebrated Christmas and Easter but the holidays were void of any true meaning. Christmas was Santa, gifts, fudge, and peanut butter kiss cookies (YUMMMMM)…but Jesus was nowhere to be seen. Likewise, Easter was ALL about the giant See’s Candy eggs. You can imagine my let down when I found out Santa and the Easter Bunny did not exist. What’s even sadder is the reason I had trouble accepting this fact was because I so-did-not-believe that my parents would actually buy me all that stuff.

So where does all this reflecting take me? Of course I want Lily to be happy. What parent doesn't want that? But first and foremost, I want my daughter to know Jesus. I want her to come to the saving faith in our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. We will do all we can do to guide her, but ultimately it is the work of God Himself. We will do our best to lead her in His ways (this is easy to say now!) and teach her His truth.

In one week this new journey begins. It started long ago in my heart, but next week it becomes real. God grant me the wisdom and patience to be the father you would have me be. May I put You above all else.

1 comment:

Mel said...

The photo is beautiful Robert...and just looks like the path we tread on in life...full of twists and turns. So glad we have the Lord walking it with us.

My husband and I made similar decisions when we became parents; that we would take what was beneficial from our own parents, but putting Jesus into a more prominent role within our household. Our children have always know that santa claus and the easter bunny are not real, and we in turn have never had to lie to them about this (although we have had to teach them to be sensitive to other people's views.) For us Christmas and Easter are about Jesus...and fun family times...why add anything else to it?

Children are so very dear to God's Heart...and "He gently leads (sustains and protects) those who have young" Isaiah 40:11 You and your wife have chosen to follow Him in raising Lily Grace...He will always help you and sustain you in this wonderful and challenging calling.

I look forward to seeing many photos of your trip to China. God Bless you on this journey and bring you and your family safely home again.