Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today is a special day!!!

Today is a really special day! I’m sure you can think of lots of reasons why it’s special, but for me it’s special because my son, Demi, turns eighteen today. Why is that so earth shattering? Well you’re probably asking that question because it’s been so long since you turned eighteen that you’ve forgotten what it means. Today Demi is eligible to vote. That means he can add his voice to the conversation on who sits in the White House. Today Demi is a legal adult according to the laws of the United States of America. That means that he is fully responsible for his choices, good and bad. I don’t know whether to be thrilled or panicked at that idea, but whatever I may be feeling, that truth is not contestable.

In light of the foregoing thoughts, I’ve been asking myself (and speaking in church about this big idea of equipping the next generation of leaders), whether Sola and I have equipped Demi adequately for adulthood and the responsibilities that come with the ability to make so many independent choices. I mean, he doesn’t need our permission or signature to get a credit card. He can watch whatever movies he wants to whether or not we endorse them, and he can hang out with girls as late as he wants, in the very daunting and different world of the college environment. With all of these questions rolling around my head, I wrote Demi a letter highlighting the value of certain non-negotiables that would adequately equip him to function more effectively in this new world of independent choices and greater responsibility.

Here, in no particular order of importance (other than the first two) are the eighteen non-negotiables we’ve taught him over the years:
  • Maintain a passionate, transparent, and authentic relationship with God
  • Pray often, even when you don’t feel like it
  • Remember that neither life nor anyone owes you anything
  • Respect others regardless of their perceived social standing
  • Time is your most valued possession, so use it wisely
  • Don’t spend everything you earn, save for the unexpected
  • Lead by example. Your life speaks louder than your words
  • Don’t live like a hypocrite by saying one thing and doing another. Let your word be your bond
  • Be humble
  • Take personal responsibility for your choices and exercise personal discipline
  • Always be encouraging and complimentary to others
  • Remember that you don’t have to have an opinion about everything
  • Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put off till later what can be done now
  • Never lose sight of the goals you’ve set
  • Go out of your way to do something good for at least one person every day
  • Always remember that, no matter how bad things may appear, there’s always someone worse off than you
  • Don’t make excuses, make good choices
  • Enjoy life; you only get to live it once.

So, what other words of wisdom can you add to the list for my ‘getting-ready-to-take-on-the-world-son’?


Ash said...

*Don't be afraid to go after your dreams, even if the future is bleak.
*Remember God is w/ you every step of the way, and he's made you the Hero of your adventurous life. Trust Him.
*Learn how to do your taxes, even if you take them to the H*R Block, it's helpful to know more about your personal finances, ask questions.
*Don't be afraid of failure. Let what you fail at, teach you, push you toward Jesus and help you grow.
*Be cautious when necessary, at the same time, don't be afraid to make a friend out of a stranger...the world has stories to offer...and you can learn so much.

lance said...

life is full of pain. either the pain of discipline. doing things you don't want to do, but are right. Or the pain of regret. not doing what you should have done and deeply regretting it later.

Both of these have pain, but only discipline has rewards. Regret just leaves you with ....well regret.