Bring Them Up

Dad Charge

Son, on your baby announcement, along with a tiny picture of your head (because, honestly, you weren’t really that cute of a baby), your mother put “May he shake the gates of hell.” It ended up becoming sort of a painful joke for the first few years of your life, as your mom and me regularly told people that we meant that you would eventually shake the gates from the outside, not immediately like a demon-baby from the inside.

But these many years later, by God’s grace, you have great love for God, great love for your people, and have already made a great impact everywhere you go. You are big, you are loud, you process out loud, and you generate a dizzying amount of ideas. And really, with usually just a tiny bit of refining, most of them are really great.

You are hard to ignore, and so you’ve often gotten grief from those who would like things to be a bit more quiet. They’d like to be undisturbed, and it seems to me, undisturbed in their apathy.

But while it’s true that you are a big presence, you have always had a big heart. Your aims and dreams for a professional sports career, even to build a castle, are for your people. If people held on long enough to listen to your castle de Marysville plans, they would have heard that your plans include a big parking lot and valet drivers to welcome your many guests.

You want to bring people in. You want to win them like Bricklebaum, with joy that looks better. You are a strong brother, a reliable friend, an attentive grandson, a fun uncle, an energetic teammate, and can make almost anything with cardboard and duct tape.

Of course you have more to learn, and only the Lord knows for sure what you will do and how much bigger you’ll get, but:

Son, don’t hold back.

Others may want you to dial it back. Some have already criticized and/or laughed at you. So be it, your legacy will be different than theirs. Fear the Lord, sacrifice for your people, hear feedback not criticism, keep up your walls like Babylon, and then don’t hold back.

May you never doubt that you are a blessing to your father and mother. You are my beloved son in whom I am very well pleased.

May you need a bigger hat to go with your cattle.

May your ideas be even bigger and your leading even louder and your work even more fruitful and your heart even more Christlike and your shaking of the gates of hell be even more effective.