Hopes For My Children

Today, our son Gabriel turned three months old. 

The week before he was born, I wrote this post. It is a little… raw, but, here it is nonetheless.

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Soon, my wife and I will be welcoming a second child into the world. Our family will grow; in size, in complexity, and hopefully in love as well.

I have been thinking about the hopes I have for my children and their character.

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I hope my kids are kinder than me, gentler than me. I hope they show a grace to others that many will not understand, even find maddening. I hope they have compassion in their hearts, and demonstrate it through their actions.

I hope my kids find thrill in learning, and are eager to try new things.

I hope my kids are stunningly, terrifyingly smart. I hope they are utterly brilliant. But when the times come that they get a sinking, bittersweet feeling, that feeling that they are the smartest person in the room — I hope they have the sense to know it’s time to find a new room.

I hope my kids find value in hard work and leisure alike. I hope they recognize the relationship between effort and reward, while also acknowledging systems that spread rewards with massive unfairness. I hope they can truly relax. I hope they can be comfortable with silence and solitude.

I hope my kids can ignore harsh words. But I also hope that if they are provoked in a physical way, they are able to respond with an efficient brutality.

Selfishly, I hope I have something in common with my kids. I hope I can teach my son a good head fake on the basketball court, or share with my daughter in the joy of a good science-fiction story.

But I also hope my kids develop really weird passions of their own, stuff I know nothing about nor where their interest even stemmed from. I hope they become really talented in fields that I did not even know exist. I would love to see one of my kids get a huge YouTube following for making weird jokes I do not understand.

I hope they can appreciate old things as well. I hope my kids can stand in front of a war memorial and consider sincerely a frame of mind and time they may never comprehend in their own lives. I hope they can still themselves in ancient places, feel the weight of centuries around them.

I hope my children have friends they can confide in, goals they can look forward to achieving, and a vision for things invisible.

I hope their faith forms a solid bedrock for their lives. I hope they look at the Gospel and decide to dive into it — face-first and full-bodied. I hope their prayer is a constant conversation. I hope they practice carving scripture into the roots of their soul. I hope they acknowledge both their sin and their Savior. I hope they serve well and faithfully.

I hope to hear them profess their faith in Jesus Christ publicly. I hope I then have the pleasure of watching them live out this faith in real ways.

I hope they’re just really cool people, and I hope to be overcome with emotion in moments of considering how much they have grown and learned and loved and lived.

Songs I Like: Do Not Move by David Crowder Band

This song came to my mind recently. I really like it.

On Sunday, pastor Paul preached on Colossians 3:1-4. He spoke of the journey to live in a Christ-centered fashion, setting our hearts on things above, etc. At one point, he mentioned this idea of having songs in mind, songs that speak truth when you need it.

There are many classic hymns I enjoy, and other songs I could write about, perhaps revisit someday.

But today, I want to talk about Do Not Move.

 

Released in 2005 on the A Collision album (which is a superb experience overall), Do Not Move is a fun little foray into the sometimes-beleaguered Christian rock scene. Stuffed full of crunchy guitar work, synth oddity, and swelling vocals, DNM is a distinctive track — unusual, even. You can appreciate it at face value for its bold sound or consider its words for personal interpretation. In my case, it holds sentimental value as well.

It even has lyrics!

I don’t want to move
And I don’t think I could
I don’t want to move
And I don’t think I should
I don’t want to move
No, I don’t want to move
I don’t want to move
And I don’t think I could

Breathe in deeper now
Breathe in deeper now
Breathe in deeper, breathe in now

The costliest of costs
The deadliest of loss
The wonder of the cross
The breath of life that stops
The hope of heaven bought
The wonder of the cross
The wonder of the cross

Breathe in deeper now (the wonder of the cross)
Breathe in deeper now (the wonder of the cross)
Breathe in deeper (the wonder of the cross)
Breathe in now
I don’t want to move

I like the way the words play with dichotomy: Costly death set against wondrous hope. Think, move. Could, should.

For me, the themes of stillness and breathing bring to mind Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” This is a good reminder for me.

I first encountered Do Not Move back in my days as a summer camp counselor. We used it for a skit that a handful of us performed as part of the opening ceremonies for the overnight session each week.

My role was the part of a demon. Throughout our performance and its Crowder-fueled cues, my tale was that of a tempter who successfully captured a human soul, only for my evil plot and that of my demonic comrades to be outdone by the overpowering work of Christ, despite our efforts to beat and even kill the illustrious interloper.

Quite a story arc to cast against 326 seconds of background music.

I suppose that sort of raw efficiency fits within the grand tradition of Gospel Presentations Intended for an Audience of Youth, though. I always enjoyed those sorts of plays. Perhaps even excessively, at times: I remember being told one week that it was “a bit much” when I used black face paint to draw upside-down crosses on my cheeks.

If I wish to, I can remember the that stage in these opening notes, in that chapel, in front of a captive audience, trying to bring myself to serve earnestly in that moment, in that ministry. If I am honest, I can recall it pretty darned vividly.

Nowadays, I would just as gladly accept being ministered to, and it is in the day-to-day present labor that this tune can still play a part in my life. My stage is no longer in a summer camp chapel, but in my workplace, my home, and elsewhere, all the while still called to perform, in a way.

Ultimately, however, I am fond of this song simply for its energy, the way it… compels me to move (!). There are plenty of other musical examples available for this motivational purpose, even in the worship arena, but this one has stuck with me especially.

The wonder of the cross.

New blog: Faith, Family, Fun

This is a new personal blog I am starting.

It has been a while since I have had a personal blog, yet I still enjoy writing informal thoughts, so I figure this will be a good space for me to dive into from time to time. I may not even stick around, but I believe this is worth trying.

Faith, Family, Fun: These are my highest values, my most important priorities, in life. This is not to say that my aim was just to form a strict ranking here, no; but, to be clear, I will be writing about my faith in Jesus. I will be writing about my immediate family. And… I will be writing about whatever else I want to, frankly, and that will be fun for me.

I look forward to tinkering with the theme and branding a bit until this feels more like a cozy online home. More so, though, I look forward to trying to place words into meaningful sequences.

I hope you enjoy your visits here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @FFF_Blog.