Posted in Character Study

Pathways

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the roads we travel. How some are long and winding. How some abruptly end. But, mostly, I’ve been considering how varied our journeys are even when it seems we are traveling together.

Take my three sons for example.

My oldest son attends a state university, anticipates studying abroad, and plans to work in the IT industry.

My middle son will go to a transition program in the fall where he will continue his work-study program.

My youngest son is still deciding between being a veterinarian, a paramedic, or a mover.

Yet, I am convinced they are traveling the pathways God has designated in advance for them. What a privilege to be part of their unique journeys!

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Posted in Character Study

Passion

Passion is sometimes misunderstood.

I’m not talking about physical passion so much as emotional/mental passion. This is the passion that feeds our fervor for a particular discipline, interest, or calling. It is akin to what I witnessed during a tournament game this past weekend.

This particular athlete was determined to win this game. In fact, he had predetermined in his mind how it would go. With each batter-up, he became more and more convinced he had to make the play. Why? Because the score kept climbing higher for the other team. Each bobbled ball, each umpire call, each strike out sent his emotions on high alert. But, a greater loss was at stake. An assistant coach went to fetch water, his mother went to purchase Gatorade, and the head coach pulled him aside. Everyone knew he was on the precipice of passion’s pinnacle where self-control teeters on the edge of being lost. Then he did something no one expected or maybe even realized.

He took himself out of the game.

Because he realized where he stood.

Because he realized what else he might lose.

Because he realized he had to get his passion under control or he would miss his final game, the one yet-to-be-played.

Because he realized he loved something more than winning this game.

He realized he loved his team.

He returned for that final game. During the player line-up, he high-fived every teammate. He accepted play calls. He gave rallying cheers.

And his team lost the game.

But, he helped raise that fourth place trophy with his fellow captains. He didn’t leave the field for a dark corner. He stayed in the light and let the gleam glint off his smile.

He returned one last time to the game he loved. He did it for his team. He did it for himself. He did it for the One who is greatest of all.

And he won.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

Posted in Character Study

Optimism

I tend to be an optimist. I see possibilities aligning with the facts. I may long for the ideal, yet I accept my reality. Here is an example.

My middle son is not a morning person. This is reality. In fact, he would say, “I am not the get-up guy.” My morning routine consists of prodding him awake. Sometimes pessimism kicks in a bit and says, “He won’t get up on time or in time or any time.” But, most days I encourage myself with “We will do our best.” After all, what more can we do?

My middle son also has Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is reality. In fact, I knew it before the early intervention evaluator confirmed it when my son was almost three. My routine consists of prodding him toward awakening. Sometimes pessimism kicks in a bit and says, “He won’t move forward one step at a time, only two steps backwards.” But, most days I encourage myself with “We will do our best.” After all, what more can we do?

My middle son will live his life–his getting up and his moving forward–with his dad and me. This is reality. In fact, we wouldn’t have it any other way. My routine consists of prodding others to wake up. Sometimes the pessimists say, “This is co-dependence.” But, most days I encourage myself with, “We will do our best.” After all, what more can we do?

Because I am an optimist. I see collaborative possibilities aligning with dependable facts. I adjust my ideology as I accept my reality.

Every day, I say, “We will do our best.” After all, what more can we do?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV