And then it happened.
Just like that.
No huge fanfare.
No trumpet sounds.
No resounding cheers.
A decade plus one years’ of work was finally complete.
Micah concluded his pre-primary, elementary, middle and high school career.
I realize that my thoughts reverberate all of the countless parents that have traveled this journey before John and me as we ask, “How did that happen – so fast?”
Micah entered his grade one classroom as a wide-eyed, eager, joyous six-year-old as this little cutie:
And in a flash, this kid has morphed into a contemplative but enthusiastic, thoughtful seventeen-year-old young man:
To say that John and I are proud of Micah and his accomplishments would be an understatement. We are. More importantly, though, we are delighted with who Micah is and who he is becoming in Christ– so much growth and maturity has happened in Micah these past two years. He is growing into himself and all that His God desires Micah to be – it’s soooooooo exciting!
I know I’ll be writing more in the days and months ahead as we launch Micah into the next significant phase of life. But for now, I have a great desire for our eldest son as he begins to transition.
I offer these words to Micah:
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
New International Version 1 Peter 1:13
Or in the words of the Message:
So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing.
The Message 1 Peter 1:13
Honestly, I cannot think of a better exhortation for a young man who is about to embark in life!
First of all, to prepare means to ‘gird up.’ These words were originally meant to invoke the vision of the long, flowing robes of Asian servants during Peter’s time. When about to set to work, these servants would gird up and tuck fast their robes. In this way, they would be unencumbered, unhampered and free to fulfill their tasks.
For Micah Man, this image invokes some thoughts about how to live today and into the future.
I’ll just say it.
Micah, it is my desire for you that you live your life with purpose. Be ready for what is coming. You’re eager to run the race that the Lord Jesus Christ has for you. Yet, as you run, you’ll need to be girded up and moving forward without hindrance or distraction.
How is that possible?
Well, Peter exhorts us to be self-controlled. Self-controlled comes from the Greek transliterated word nepho. Nepho means to be calm, collected, temperate, circumspect and sober in spirit. To be self-controlled means that we respond with wisdom, discernment and care. We don’t react. This can be a tough thing to do in this extremely reactionary world where so many are inebriated with the cares of life.
Distractions lull many asleep.
Lust and temptation render many useless.
Anxieties choke and extinguish hope and freedom.
Disinterest and disengagement weaken resolve.
Micah, it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can be calm, temperate, and sober in spirit as you diligently and vigilantly attend to the care of your mind, heart and soul. Keep your sights set upon Jesus Christ and His Kingdom to come – not upon the temporal cares and worries of this world. As you are aware, trials, hardships, and challenges emanate from anywhere and everywhere. The evil one throws even the kitchen sink at us to confound, confuse, and divert us from the purposes and pathways set before us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet, we can take courage from the strength and power we have in Christ to move forward and through each situation – fortified by the love, grace, and mercy of our God. I’m not going to say it is easy. Life can be tough.
This is why the hope of Christ is so important, Micah Man.
The living hope found in Jesus Christ is a strong, joy-filled and perfect trust in the grace of God that we most need to live a vigorous hope-filled life on earth. It’s not a once-off kind of deal. We live into and depend upon this living hope every single day of our life – even as the challenges, cares, and distractions come.
Every.Single.Day. We seek out and depend upon the hope of Christ.
Micah Man, you concluded your high school career this week. You met every goal you set for yourself this year and then some! Congratulations! We celebrate this amazing, hard-earned accomplishment and will continue to do that in the weeks ahead.
And as we do so, your dad and I will be praying for your next steps as you prepare for your Gap Year with Pais Australia (Another story for another time).
In the meantime, we encourage you to follow the advice of Peter…
Prepare your mind for action.
Take courage from the secure love of God that is yours – always and forever.
Be self-controlled, sober in spirit, and contemplative.
Set your hope on Christ and His infinite grace.
Live into the joy, the confidence, and the blessing of your salvation in Jesus Christ.
Walk forward with your Savior day by day in trust and expectation.
And enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the journey!
Because this life can happen just like that! You’ll need to trust and depend upon your Lord and Savior for today, tomorrow, and every day that is coming!
We love you, Micah Man!
We are incredibly proud of you and so excited for you and your future!