The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
This week, my wife and I are watching our eldest son, his wife, and our two-year old granddaughter make their trek to the West Coast, where they will take up life in Vancouver, Washington. God has blessed them with a great opportunity and we are excited for the life ahead of them…but that’s a long way from here.
Watching your kids spread their wings brings many emotions. Pride–a healthy kind–tops the list. When your life together stirs your kids toward a global vision, you find their pursuit of a larger world very satisfying. Some prefer to keep their kids within the boundaries of their own reach, but we’ve tried to live a broader life. Missions trips, ministry travel, and a steady focus on the worldwide kingdom of God teaches our children that there’s a world out there that’s broader than their current zip code. So when they choose life in a distant place, there’s a certain amount of pride in their brave and expanded pursuit of excellence.
Watching them board airplanes isn’t easy. I’ll do that later today as I put my daughter-in-law and granddaughter on a Southwest flight to Portland, where my son already awaits. Knowing you’ll be a cross-country flight or a three-day drive from your kids wil bring a lump to any tough guy’s throat and I’m sure I’ll fight tears on the trip to and from the airport, but they won’t be tears of regret, just reality. At least I’ll have FaceTime and other techno gadgets to let me watch their lives unfold on a regular basis.
Watching them go isn’t easy, but those who achieve great exploits usually have to leave their yard (I know, Steve Jobs created Apple in his garage, but you get my point). Living your best in a shrinking global village means your life may be lived on edges your parents never reached. You can settle for less, but ignoring life’s opportunities usually births its own growing pile of regret.
I’ll survive this emotional day (and will likely live others as my younger son’s future takes shape, then the grandkids, etc.). It will be thoughts of potential and challenge and excellence that will help me sleep tonight. When you raise your kids to pursue life’s very best and to chase the best paths that open before them, it makes days like today important and meaningful.
Love you, Tyler, Katie, and Molly. Give ’em heaven out there…