A New Man

My oldest son, Jonathan, turned 18 today.

My wife and I keep questioning where all the time went, but it has passed at the same rate as always–one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

We’re celebrating the cute lad flopped over in the hands of someone far younger than I feel today.

My wife chose our daughter’s name–our firstborn, so I got to choose the name of our son. I thought of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament, and though the relationship between father and son involves authority and discipline, my hope has always been that as he grew into an adult, we would develop a close bond that goes beyond mere blood relation.

I’m grateful because I believe we have that. As much as sometimes Jon looks up to me, I am impressed by him–by his concern for others, by his passion for God, by his insights and perception and how those translate into meaningful actions.

For the last few years, Jon has been diving deep into a relationship with God that informs how he reacts and relates to the people around him. The shy guy who barely talked to anyone is now teaching weekly studies on how to share your faith with others.

People approach me and tell me how blessed they are by what Jon does and says–how he shares his faith and his struggles with honesty, how he shows genuine love and interest in those around him, how he carries himself with maturity and responsibility.

There are few things better as a parent than hearing people praise your children… though I can’t claim credit for what God has done in and through Jon.

He’s pretty photogenic, too.

Today, perhaps as a sort of birthday present, Jon got word that he has been accepted into LifeCompass, a 4-month program for young adults that will give him experience performing missionary and humanitarian work in Thailand.

He doesn’t have his whole future mapped out yet, but he’s charting a course that involves impacting the lives of others for the better…

As he has mine.

I’m incredibly proud to call this young man my son, my brother in Christ, and my friend.

Did I say he is photogenic? Maybe that was a stretch…

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