"...time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son." (from Luke 1:57)
Today is our son Jon's 28th birthday. His legal name is Jonathan David Baril, but for many years he has been "Jon" or as he signs his name Jon Baril tk. As far as what "tk" means, you'll have to ask him! I'm in kind of a reflective mood this morning because this year Jon's birthday falls on a Saturday and he was actually born on a Saturday in 1983. That year, it was a very hot and very humid day. My wife was several days overdue and her labor was induced. It was a long, slow day at the Norwood Hospital, and I know it was especially grueling for her. Around 6 p.m., I went home, had an English muffin with peanut butter and a mug of coffee, and called a few friends asking them to pray that Mary Ann's labor would speed up. When I got back to the hospital, her labor was indeed progressing. At almost 10 p.m. Mary Ann was taken into the delivery room where she gave birth. Yeah, I was present for it all. I'm not the most macho guy, but no, I didn't pass out or anything like that. Our daughters were born in the much "cooler" and "more contemporary" birthing room, but Jon was born into that very clinical and sterile delivery room.
In those days, we did not know what the sex was going to be ahead of time. It was an overwhelming experience to know I was a father and had a son. In those days, there was also a "fathers' waiting room". It wasn't being used as much in that era, but was leftover from the pre-1970 days when NO man was ever present when his children were being born. Even so, at that time, fathers wrote on a green chalkboard in there the name of their child, the birthday, and the weight, and I did that for Jon. I went home, went to sleep, and got up and taught Adult Sunday School the next day.
The whole thing of parenthood is an adventure that we try hard at and where most of us have our great successes and our catastrophic disasters, and I have been no different. I was 28, myself, when Jon was born and he is now 28. Twenty-eight years from now, IF I am still living, I will be 84! That's incredible to me! We don't have a lot of say about our genetics. My own parents had many wonderful qualities, but each of them had two or three glaring flaws. While I've inherited my Dad's strong public speaking ability and somewhat charismatic personality, and my Mom's deep sensitivity, I also was the only one of their kids who inherited ALL of their faults seemingly without measure! I've STRUGGLED with that!
I say that because Jon got many positives...great musical ability, high intelligence, great communication ability, and especially that he is a gifted writer. But he also got my temper, my tendency to look on the dark side of life, and my great resistance to change. As I inherited some of the worst qualities of my parents, I'd say that was true for Jon among our children.
I feel kind of guilty about that. Yet, it's no more my fault than it is my parents' fault that I inherited their "lousy points"! I believe God gives us our talents and abilities, but He also allows certain people (like Jon and like me) to inherit some of the worst traits of their parents. This gives us the chance and opportunity to need to draw much closer to Him than some other people seem to need to do, and to have to learn to surrender to Him, and yield to Him, sometimes with tears streaming down our face, much more than other people seem to need to do. You know, the Bible says in Luke 12:48, "...for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..." That kind of "cuts both ways".
In life, I held onto a lot of the bad points and character flaws much longer than I should have or needed to. (Not that I'm free of 'em all, 'cause I'm sure not...it's all a process.) The positive in all this, is you can be a real help to another Believer who is struggling with forgiveness or undesirable circumstances or unfairness or a host of other things, because you understand and have "been there". I've had the experiencing of many times being able to minister to someone who is really hurting... who is really "crushed", so to speak; in a way that others have not been able to.
Jon is much farther back in this life journey than I am. My hope and prayer for him is that he will allow God's process and pruning in his life to progress at a much faster pace than I allowed it in my own life, DESPITE the pain and seeming unfairness of it.
Well, that's all my reflecting and philosophizing for now. Happy Birthday, Jon!
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