This week my son, Kenny, graduated from 8th grade at Open Door Christian Academy. He attended ODCA for 12 years as he entered school as a three year old. It was the culmination of years of fun, sports, academics and a lot of hard work. To God’s glory, Kenny was awarded the school’s highest award for academic achievement with one other person in his class. As I reflected on this achievement in his life, I was reminded of the events that led up to this day. Kenny is a naturally self motivated person and gifted with a bright mind, but that was not what resulted in him winning the award. I believe it was a series of small decisions that he made every day and every year along the way. He had hundreds of choices to make about how he would spend his time during those years and on many occasions (certainly not every one), he chose to study or do his homework. I will never forget the night that he realized he had put off reading a book for too long and it was due the next day. Instead of giving up and accepting a lower grade, he stayed up late into the night and finished reading it. On another occasion, he had a soccer practice that went late and he was tired. That same night one of his favorite television shows came on and yet he chose to get his homework done despite his exhaustion and temptation to take it easy in front of the TV. Every one of those decisions became the building blocks of his academic success.
Life, however, is not all about academic success and Kenny will face many more critical life decisions every day that he lives in this fallen and broken world. Our church is studying the book of Proverbs this summer and it couldn’t come at a better time for me or my family. Pastor Ron made the point today that true wisdom comes from making lots of little decisions well so that when we are faced with a really big one, we will be prepared. Making these small decisions well happens as we develop a deep and intimate relationship with one who is wisdom incarnate. It is so encouraging to know that all the wisdom we need for living life to the fullest is already in God’s word and ready to be applied in any situation.
As Kenny heads into High School I will be praying for him (and me) that he (and I) will:
1. Choose friends wisely for they will be your companions in success and failure.
2. Make time with God a daily habit and a life long commitment.
3. Seek to learn by listening and observing those who live lives sold out to God, regardless of how cool or “uncool” they may be.
4. Chose to serve others even when you don’t feel like it and experience the joy of truly living the Christ life.
5. Find that thing that you are most passionate about and surrender it fully to God so that he can transform you into the world changer that you are meant to be.
I look forward to seeing how God will shape our family and those that we touch as Kenny grows from a boy into a man. Each step along the way will require deciding well – for each of us. Praise God, he has already given us the full instruction set for living. The amazing thing is that he even promises to give us the strength to make right decisions as we rely fully on his greatest gift to us – the Holy Spirit.