If you haven't heard Greg Boyd preach you are missing one of the prophets of our age. Opening statement to this weeks sermon which kicks off a sermon series he's doing called "Beautiful Mess" (I don't know if he knew Rick McKinley had a series by that name or not but who cares, they are both advancing the Kingdom in their own context) is:
"There is a new world order coming and its called the 'Kingdom of God' and it will bring a beautiful order to our normal messes and a beautiful mess to our normal order".
Luke 6:17 is where he started.
Wow, I was cleaning off my home computer and ran across an Internet Messenger log filled with text that had a conversation in it between my son, who is about to turn 18 and has accepted a whopping huge scholarship to University of Seattle and will be attending in the fall, and I. The file was dated from March of 2005, one month before he made the decision to write the Friend of Court a letter requesting his custody be granted to his mother so he could stay in military school.
The text was a long, drawn-out conversation with him giving reasons why he thought he should return home from military school. He asked me why I sent him. I could have cried right there but I finished the rest of it before I had a good sob. I didn't send him. At 15 he decided it would be awesome to take advantage of the $23000 a year the school was going to give him to coax him into their educational system. I was reluctant but couldn't see the harm so I put up the remaining $6000 it took for uniforms, board, books, travel, and he went. He was so strong in his moral convictions, loved Jesus, and basically a leader. When we were messaging back and forth I encouraged him to give it some thought because if he dropped there would be no returning. He asked me, "Dad, don't you want me to come home?". I remember when that message came over. He's my oldest son. We've always been close. We did so much together and now he's a young man and can do just about everything I can and he's gone. I cried when I got that message. Of course I WANTED HIM HOME. WHAT ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD COULD I HAVE POSSIBLY WANTED MORE.
He took my advice and thought about it.
He didn't come home.
Within two months we weren't even speaking (his rebellion against my parental control, its complicated but it boiled down to me being an ass and 'insisting' he adhere to my rules whether he was at home or in military school - stupid, as if I could or should put that kind of expectiation out there) and it took a long, long time for us to get the time to actually talk some of it out. That one fateful conversation that began with a desperate kid wanting to come home made men out of both of us. I enjoy the few hours every 3-4 months that we get together - we talk about all the things we've done together and eat and laugh and discuss politics and religion and music. It is rare but so precious.
So God, you've helped me protect and serve one of my six children to adulthood and we're both still alive, very much alive. I hope I can handle your surgery another 5 times, it left me much humbler than I had come. Selah