As JVG and Cosette hide in a dark corner, I will digress a bit about parenting and leadership. There is nothing like the feeling of holding my new-born child and swelling with the determination to protect and provide. Early on I enlisted my known strategies and tactics to make in the world a safe and caring place for my child. And God blessed me to be able to control with hard work the main factors of my marriage and my job. But hard times did come, and as my children got older there were places along the way that I felt incapable – like a novice.
There are two contrasting word pictures of the young man and the older man. The young man with vigor and confidence somehow believed that he saw all the woods from his single station on a narrow path through dense thickets. And that young man moved steadily along believing in himself and cutting away the vines that obstructed his envisioned journey. Lord, I was so arrogant! But the Lord used a man of arrogance who determined to do the right thing. And it worked out because He was with me. I am left with some shudders at my early behaviors, but mostly by what God has done.
The older man sees more of the woods – at least the section where I walked as a young man. And I realize that so much more was needed to make a father than me and my comprehensive ideas. So many more stimuli and counsels needed to happen to my kids than what I controlled or imagined. And the increasing feelings of incompetence as they became teenagers matured into heart-felt thankfulness with the realization that they don’t need me anymore, and perhaps only did in that I played my part as a leading role in His production.
Did I trust God? Yes, that I wagered our lives in a commitment to worship and serve Him. And our relationship was much more unilateral than me consciously trusting Him as I could have. He had a hold on me, behind and before, and his right hand was upon me. But I felt as if I was in control. I was much more fragile in my own power than I perceived. But for some reason I belonged to Him and He did not let me go. And we are glad.