This whole thing has gone way too fast for my liking. My boy is all grown up, but still my boy. He graduates tonight. Among the seniors at his school, Joshua won the science award at the honors ceremony Wednesday. Eileen and I are very proud of him.
But I’ve been choking back the tears for a month.
There is much to celebrate, and much to look forward to about tomorrow. At the same time, I know that 50% of kids Joshua’s age disengage from their faith during their college years. Quite honestly, that statistic terrifies me. The environment is rough. A recent Harvard/George Mason study revealed that at least 25% of college professors self-identify as agnostic or atheist. In case you’re wondering, the general population scores at 5-7%. Contemporary academia seems to breed unbelief. God, please save our kids.
So, friends, this is a huge trust-the-Lord season for me. (I know every season is, but this one actually feels like it.)
Just a few years ago, Josh wrapped his little toes around my fingers. We played in the snow. We fake-wrestled. We read “Imogene’s Antlers” and C.S. Lewis. We watched The Sandlot. We camped out on the beach.
Then I did something stupid. I blinked.
Some parts of being a dad I’ve done O.K. at. Other tests of fatherhood and parenting I’ve failed miserably. Josh has taught us patience. But, truth is, we have taught him the same. I guess we’re all works in progress.
I must tell you that the parts of Joshua’s childhood I’ll miss the most are not the expensive “special” vacations or the notable milestone moments. What I will miss the most is the ordinary. I wake up. Josh is there. I come home. Josh is there. I settle in for the night. Josh is there.
But, today, there’s a cap and gown hanging in Joshua’s room. I can barely look at it. Lord, I need grace to trust You with this. I feel so small, and I feel like I’m releasing my boy into an awfully big world. In August, we will drive a man to the University of North Georgia. (Or he will drive us.)
I already miss Imogene.
“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him” (First Samuel 1:27). Thank You, Most Gracious God.
Josh, if you read this, I love you with all my heart.