Another Wednesday another guest blog, this time my father steps up to the plate and writes about me… part touching, part embarrassing but all good.
Nick, the Ebs and Flows blogger, is my son. He was conceived during a time of incredible sadness in 1980 when his mother and I clung to each other in our distress after his maternal grandfather was killed in an accident. The pregnancy that followed was not without its troubles despite our joy at knowing we were to be parents. My wife suffered greatly with morning sickness. And afternoon sickness and evening sickness. Then there was the suggestion of Spina Bifida and the tears we cried during the two weeks we were kept waiting for test results.
Even the birth was not easy. After seven days in hospital and hours of labour the forceps were brought into the room and promptly dropped on the floor. When the nursing staff finally extracted my son from his mother’s womb they were amazed at his size and length. I was simply stunned by what God had done for us. Overwhelmed by the act of creation and swamped by the knowledge that I was the human father to this child.
I’d like to say that he was a perfect child. Unfortunately, he was too much like his earthly father. But he was my child. My firstborn son. A gift to me, a gift to my wife, a gift especially to his bereaved grandma and to my parents. And the gift immediately began giving back. We experienced considerable happiness as parents, despite the fact that our newborn son did not sleep at night for nine months!
At the age of three Nick was responsible for leading us back into the church we had walked away from before he was born. He became part of that church. As time went on he surrendered his life before the God who created him, and he thrilled our hearts as he was baptised.
Increasingly Nick gave to others. He gave nearly a year of his time to the Baptist Missionary Society. This included working in Trinidad as a volunteer for six months. Then he gave a year to Youth for Christ working as a volunteer again, this time as part of a team reaching out to young people through basketball. Then he trained as a youth worker while working with the youth in the town where he still lives. At the same stage in my life I was more focused on my career and saving the money I needed to get married and purchase a home.
When I read Nick‘s blog and I see his honesty as he exposes parts of his journey with God to public view I am prouder still of my son. Knowing how long it took me to travel the road that Nick is on I am glad to see that he is years ahead of where I was at his age, and that he is encouraging others to travel with him. My prayer is that Nick, my four other children and two daughters-in-law, will pass me on the journey and achieve all that God has purposed in their lives. That prayer extends to all readers of this blog. God may not consider the years I spent as a mediocre Christian to be wasted, but I do. Paul writes in Colossians that the words of Christ make us wise when they live in our hearts. My experience is that time spent alone with God is the key to spiritual growth. I wish someone had told me that thirty years ago.