How Did This Happen?

Good Friday to You,

Here we go again!

How did this happen?

It seems like only yesterday…

 

As of Thursday night, we officially have two sons who have graduated from high school. I still remember when Parker was born, waking up to find myself sitting in my car at the 3rd Street McDonald’s in Terre Haute, Indiana with a bag of cold food  on my lap. Let me tell you…those hash browns aren’t nearly as yummy when they are at room (or in my case, car) temperature!

Though it has now been a full 18 years since biting into that cold hash brown, it really does feel like that memory was only yesterday. Parker accepting his high school diploma this week dramatically illustrates how quickly the years go by. And as his Dad, I am faced with the humbling reality that the role I have had in his life is quickly going to change. Parker will soon be making all the decisions for his life. I will soon only have the influence he chooses to grant me. “Because I said so” is about to be rendered meaningless.

For me, I sense joy, regret, and peace with this reality. I have joy because Parker and Zachary are both actively following Jesus, regret because I see many ways I fell short as their father, and peace because Carol Ann and I never were the limiting factor to the men they would become. We have actively pointed our boys to Jesus and looked for other Jesus-followers to partner with us.

In two words, parenting has been a process of pointing and partnering.

We point them because we are not their salvation, standard, or motivation for life. His name is Jesus! We have unapologetically refused to be the limiting factor in their lives. As they have gotten older, we have worked hard to explain the “why” behind the boundaries and guidelines of our home. His name is Jesus!

Along the way, we have seen God dramatically use several people to partner with us to influence their lives. Melanie loved them well as little guys in the children’s choir. Troy and Karen were fun parents of their friends. Adam and Susan played key roles in a formative time. Dustin took the role of older brother and hero. We are truly grateful to God and His people!

This graduation weekend, we get to officially pass the baton of faith to our graduates. They are moving on to this next season of life. We also have the opportunity to consider how we (as parents) are partnering with the church, and how we (as the church) are partnering with parents to pass the baton of faith to the next generation of Christ-followers.

We cannot do it alone. We cannot expect parents to do it alone.

Whether God has positioned you as a parent or a partner, the stakes are high and the potential is inspiring.  I hope you will join us as we celebrate what God is doing in the lives of our graduates and consider how we can all partner with Him in this world-changing endeavor!

 

Hope to see you this weekend,

Pastor Michael