1) My youngest, and probably most charming, follower has officially named the black fish “Chocolate”. In honor of his marvelous creativity, the green fish has been named “Boaz”. Here is to greatness in the youngest generation J
2) I am interested in creative names for the rest of the fish family. Black and green are taken. Let me know.
3) Here is the real post…
As I sit here writing these very words I am sitting in my childhood home. I am in the room where I was read stories, played with toys, sat by the heat duct on cold winter mornings and was afraid of witches that my imagination had created at the end of my hall. I will always cherish the many, many good times here. And as in this home, there were rough times too. I grew from those.
This is the home in which I was raised since I was just 14 months old.
This is where I was raised. But this is not what grew me up.
I grew up as I watched my father work tirelessly to provide for his family.
I grew up as I watched my mother shower her maternal love on us every step of the way.
I grew up as I watched my childhood friend go through his parents’ divorce.
I grew up as I watched my church family stumble through the suicide of one of our teenagers.
I grew up as I experienced not making the team in high school.
I grew up as I struggled with sorting out my identity, purpose and calling.
I grew up as I watched my friends and family experience deep betrayal by a loved one.
I grew up as I watched my friend experience the pain of abuse.
I grew up as I challenged my own beliefs and views.
I grew up as I tried to be a youth pastor.
I grew up as I struggled through a second failed mentoring relationship.
I grew up as I gave up something I had loved for something I felt God was leading me to.
I grew up as I led my hurting kids through a searing loss.
I grow up as I go face-to-face with the absolute ugliest side of humanity.
I grow up as I watched loved ones get emotionally torn to pieces.
Most of all, I have been grown up by learning to listen for the voice of God instead of listening to those around me.
The events of live are perhaps what shaped me. But God is one who has been growing me.
My dad still tells me that I am not allowed to come live here anymore. J
This was my launching pad. This is where I was a child. This will always be where I called home. I couldn’t have dreamed for a better family or a better childhood.
But I was not called to remain a child. There came a time when I had to grow up. Now I am a 25 year old man sitting in the exact room where I slept as an infant. I look back over the 25 years. Love, laughs, fights and scars; ups and downs.
But the real thing that gets me is that I still feel like an infant. I am just a mere child in learning to hear my Father’s voice.
If any lesson can be learned as I sit in this dark room, it is that I can do it.
I will have many challenges that await me. Ups and downs. But it will just be another life come and gone if I don’t make it mean something. Sure, I can do my time as a public servant, but that isn’t enough for me.
My deepest hearts desire is to be grown into a person that is used by God to change this world. So I will patiently sway with the ebb and flow of life and I will courageously ride the waves of trials. But ultimately, I want to know God. That is what will grow me.
“Well done, good and faithful servant” is far better than “depart from me, for I never knew you”. Now is my time to earn that.