Friday, January 13, 2012
Dear Logan, (January 13th, 2012)
Where do I begin but with the truth? As a child, my father was never there for me. I was raised by my mother and the absence created by my father. The latter informed the former. I was not able to spend as much time with my mother because she worked several jobs at once to fill the financial gap created by my father’s absence. I was also raised by my Grandfather and grandmother, persons whom I hope to share quite a bit with you in the future about. I expect that by the time you are old enough to read this and make sense of it, that they will be with our Lord.
I want to write this to you, and make a habit of it. As for us, I intend to be very present in your life. I intend to be the one to give you to your mother the moment you enter this world, and I intend to be there the day you find a wife and marry, and all that is between. However, I know that nothing is guaranteed in this life. For every moment I wished I had had with my father when I was a child, I write this as a way to pass on instruction to you, to share our family history, and to give you a point of reflection in that point in future history (hopefully many years away) where I too become old and pass away.
When coupled with the memory of physical time spent together, I hope this serves as a point of guidance in your life, and serves as a guidepost for our future family history. It will be my journal to you, my first son, but also a corpus of thought that I pray our family carries with it to whatever end. In short, this is my heart and soul, poured out on paper. Not a substitute for my the physical presence I promise to give through the years of your life, but a supplement to it. Something that helps you make sense of your life, your passions, and a tradition you may choose to share with your own kids someday. At times it may come across as distant and stoic, more thoughtful than relational. At other times it may come across as very personal and of no use to anyone accept as an account of persons who, by your time of reading this, have long since passed. Both elements are vastly important. You cannot shape the future properly without understanding your past. Logan, this is your past. This is the key to your future.
So where do I begin but with the truth? In the days that I write this, truth has become a nebulous word. If someone does not like the “truth” which one person declares, they simply use an adage that what is “true for you may not be true for me.” In some cases, this works with the way reality turns; in other cases, it is simply a way to appease a person’s conscience so they are not convicted by some governing reality, while also being a way to proclaim that no governing reality exists.
This is not the way the world truly works, however. In order to understand the meaning of life, you must first understand the principles that guide it. In certain fields, this is accepted, and we call it science. In other fields, this is questioned and we call it religion. For the one who knows, however, both find harmony in a central Identity.
The ancient Hebrew, a culture well documented to be an integral part of the history of our world used to hold to a concept called “wisdom.” “Wisdom,” asserted that God Himself created our world in an ordered fashion, according to His own being. He created the world to have certain rules. Some of these rules come into focus as “scientific” knowledge, like the study of inertia or gravity. Others, however, have to do with moral law. The world gladly accepts the first, while does all it can to negate the power of the other. The ancient Hebrews (as well as many generations that follow through to today) believed that just as God created gravity to guide the movements of the planets and the falling of feathers, God also created a moral order within us. This is why almost every culture in existence has found it appalling and criminal that one human would eat another; and yet why it is debatable by only a few that it is criminal for a human to eat a deer.
For those who follow after wisdom, the understanding that God created an ordered universe after Himself is the key to understanding life. It is what guides them when the social milieu says that certain things are now considered acceptable that were not years ago, or in the history of the world. The idea that God created a certain way to live life is where we begin. For this, my son, is the key to reality.
“In the beginning, God created…” are the first words we are greeted with in the greatest body of writing of all. It reminds us there is some ONE behind history, and that our lives are not meaningless or random. This fact also allows for people who get to know the ONE and to get to know how He created the world to work. The further you follow wisdom on this path, the more likely you are to be happy, fulfilled, successful (though not always in the eyes of society), and whole. It is also, in this present world, the very thing that will bring about persecution, mockery, temptation, and consequences for failures.
When you follow after the hard and narrow path that God created, you bring both trials and joys you cannot imagine along with you. But, make no mistake, there is order to this world at chaos. This is why persons from time immemorial have found that when you “take up your cross,” as our Lord said, you will find both the death of that “real” life that the world presents to you, and the rebirth of a life that brings peace, wholeness, love, joy, and fulfillment.
My heart for you today, my son, is that you find this path in your own life, and lead others along it. Hopefully, the Lord willing, I will have been a guide to you in this. However, I am flawed and fallen in a world of sin, like the rest of us. So, I may have failed you in some or many regards to this. This fault I accept as my own, as a result of whatever times that may come that I do not take my own advice and take up my cross, and follow wisdom’s call. God gave us a great gift of free will, and in that gift the ability to disobey Him, to follow after a siren's song, and to hurt those we love. But without it, we could not love in truth.
Let this writing, then, fill in the gaps between what I teach you, and what I sometimes do. Not that I plan to follow a path other than the path God created, but that through the efforts of the devil and the pain of indwelling sin, this may happen in small or large ways. This is why the Scripture tells us to, “examine yourself daily, to see if you are in the faith.” It is also why I feel writing the best mode of communication to your future self.
Take with you this truth first. God is One. God is Love. God is Holy. And from this Being, God created. And you, my son, were created in His image, just as you bear mine. You were created to seek truth, to love boldly, to act wisely, to judge discerningly, and to live in a manner that follows after the path of wisdom; which is a path, you’ll find, that goes through many patches of weeds, and ends at the feet of a crucified rabbi, the selfless Love that both created us all, and redeemed us when we fell.
This is the greatest truth. The governing truth. This is the basis for your life, my life, and all those who will take the blinders off for long enough to see what is declared to us in nature, and not what is preached to us on the screen. My heart for you today, my son, is that you find this Truth, and that The Truth shall set you free. Live your life for Him, for it is the only life worth living in the end.
In the midst of study,
January 13th, 2012.