Well here it is. The day my oldest son reaches official adulthood. Oh, we have sort of been there before – like when he reached the age of 18 or when my second son reached the 18 year mile marker. But this is different. Zack is now recognized by his community and government as a full fledged adult on this day at approximately 12:15 p.m. What a great accomplishment for him!
I recall quite well 21 years ago last week, realizing that this breached baby boy within my wife was not going to come to this outside world easily, we made the decision to schedule his birth by C-section on December 17, 1987. No, this was not how we planned to deliver our first child. Traveling to downtown Minneapolis was not the hospital we anticipated to celebrate this new event in our lives. But God knew all along what was happening and how and where it would occur. i remember the week before, sitting in our basement, watching the movie, The Bells of St. Mary’s with Bing Crosby, and trying to fix a broken ping pong table. It was almost surreal anticipating the scheduled birth of our first child. I always thought it was supposed to be a surprise. You know, waking up in the middle of the night and rushing to the hospital with a police escort. I had some of those (without the escort) later on with the birth of my other kids. No, this was different, and special. The anticipate arrival of a newborn, especially during the season of Advent – what could be more exciting or more thrilling!
Now I flash back to October of 1982, when I reached the age that Zack is celebrating today. For me it was a breakthrough year at college and in my life personally. A junior at Pillsbury (my college which sadly, is closing its doors at the end of this semester), class chaplain, society chaplain, and runner-up for a school-wide preaching contest later in the school year; these were all changes happening to an introvert, who at age 21, was sure of the hand of God in my life, but unsure of my own abilities and gifts. I was becoming more sober regarding life and more focused on the future rather than the here and now. God was executing a plan with my life and I could see it happening before my eyes.
Flash forward to this morning. My son will reach that milestone in a few short hours. He is far ahead of where I was at this stage of life. He may not always feel like it, but he is a man that both God and his father are proud of. Has he fully arrived? No. Have I arrived? No. Is he being used of God and shaped by Him? I believe the answer is “Yes”!
Happy 21st birthday, Zack. God bless you and keep you. May His strength sustain you in times of adversity and challenge. May His joy always find you whether you are on the mountain or in the valley or on the journey between. May His wisdom guide you in every decision great or small. May His peace give you rest and restoration. Amen.