Monday, January 15, 2007

Great Weekend

My 4 yr. old son Calvin, my oldest son' girlfriend, and I, drove down Saturday to my oldest son's (17, nearing 18) boarding school for a wrestling tournament. He was a stud and won all his matches by pins (although one was a forfeit) bringing his record to 24 and 5. As an added bonus the school also had a fencing tournament going on at the same time so Calvin got to hang out with some real sword-fighters. The only thing this kid wanted for Christmas was a sword.

I got to know the girlfriend, just a little shy, and got to rejoice with all of heaven. My son used to play and sing with the worship team, led the young men on his Cross Country team to pray before they competed, was strong in the church and a witness among men for Christ. Then he got financial aid/scholarship to attend a very upscale boarding school in Indiana. Their equestrian team does the presidential inaugural parade (until Clinton was elected, every year, after that they had to wait until Bush was elected), just to give you an idea of the prestige. Anyway, the first year (his sophomore year) was tough for me and I was a fool and he was a typical teen and to make a long story short, he and his mother sued me for a change of custody and won. For the past two years we haven't spoken much or seen each other much. There were some signs that he was becoming very worldly and I grieved so much over my inability to guide and teach him, born out of the pride at his early zeal, that I couldn't even talk to him and really didn't want him to come in and "teach" others in my family to commit such treason. I was a fool.

I watched as my son warmed up for his first match. Jogging in place, stretching, getting his head right, all the usual preparations of a guy going into battle. I looked away a moment and when I looked back he was gone. My eyes darted from one kid to the next trying to pick out my son's frame from a couple dozen other guys in sweats and I finally caught a glimpse of him. He was on his knees with his head bowed in a quiet corner of the gymnasium where he could disappear from the chaos. It was as if God had blessed me with another child. My son was born again, freed from my doubt, my judgement, my fear, my weak self-esteem(what good is self-esteem anyway? it should be 'Christ-esteem'), to remind me of my own place at the feet of a Holy God in fear and trembling. I rejoiced with Jesus himself and the heavenly hosts at the assurance of my son's salvation and I finally can look at this guy as another man in the fray. Praise you Lord of the Dance, thanks for being the God who is There.


MJ said...

Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it. I am glad for the gift of your assurance. I pray that my sons, too, learn to know the Lord for themselves. I am blessed to know that it isn't on me. I am not up to the task.

Sam said...

Me neither. I met with my ex-wife, her husband, and their pastor on Sunday evening. It was a little unpleasant. I understand their goal is two-fold, to have our daughter living with them at their home and to sever any relationship I have with my ex-wife’s second husband. Back when my wife walked away from all the children we made sure my two kids were still in contact with their younger half-sister. Over the years he and I have healed from all the wounds and we get along quite well. He is seeking and often calls me when he is struggling with casting off the pre-suppositions he has had about his faith and just living richly at the feet of Jesus. That is part of his goal. Unfortunately he also gossips. My ex and her husband feel wronged in all of this because there is an on-going custody dispute between he and them. Now I've got to find the guy a mentor to appease my ex and her husband.

Its so complicated and their pastor was trying to work it out. He already had an earful about me before I got there so he’d judged what the situation was before meeting me face to face. He really tried not to but he doesn't fully understand the past and I'm trying not to dig it all up. It will take some time but my goal is not whether my daughter lives with them or not but somehow creating dialogue between us so we can help our children grow. I don’t know if it is possible but this is the only thing I could think of to catalyze change. Its impossible for some people to receive love. I’ve been dishing it out but what I mean as love they see as manipulation. It often looks hopeless.

My daughter and I are getting along great though. I had to tell her that I have read her emails and that she may not view it as the right thing to do but I knew she was hurting and I couldn’t understand why until after I’d read her emails. I promised to not do it anymore and we had some tender communication. It is so cool being a parent of a teen, even in the tough times, because I know that my relationship with my daughters has never been as strained as that with my son and I’m not fully responsible, God is there in it overshadowing my mistakes and weaknesses.