His name is Josiah. When he was little, like three or so, he thought this Christian cartoon video that all my kids grew up watching was talking about him because he kept hearing the word “Messiah.” He used to say to his brothers, “You see, they are talking about me!” I am so glad that he didn’t turn out to be a cult leader.
It’s 2:45pm on Thursday afternoon. I am in my office preparing messages for the retreat where I will be speaking from this Friday to Sunday in San Jose, CA. It’s the church where I had asked Grace Lee to go to. But I have decided to take some time out to write this not knowing where it will take me. I just felt the urge to write something about my youngest as he is getting ready to leave home for college. (I had to pause because I just got a call from a missionary in South Africa and spent 45 minutes listening to him about the house church that he has been doing since he attended our seminar this past March!)
Now, it is 3:30pm and time is really ticking. In less than two hours, I will need to leave my office to meet my family at a restaurant to have our last meal together before we all go separate ways. I will be leaving home very early in the morning tomorrow to come to church to pray and work. And then, I will need to head out to the airport late in the morning to go to CA. Josiah will get all his wisdom teeth taken out on Saturday. What a bad timing to do this just a day before he goes to college! On Sunday, he and the rest of my family will come to church to worship. After worship, all of them will drive up to Austin in two cars to help Josiah settle into his dorm room. My wife and Enoch will come back down afterwards but Caleb and Josiah will stay up in Austin. I was there to do this for my first and the second son. Those times are still very vivid in my mind. My wife and I brought some cleaning materials to dust and wipe their dorm rooms so that they can have a clean and fresh start. But I won’t be able to do this for my youngest. It’s not a big deal, but for some reason, it still bothers me. I told him that I will go up and see him after I come back from CA, but he just smiled at me. I don’t exactly know what that smile meant. I don’t think he wants me to come up. But I would like to think otherwise.
I worry how he will do in college away from home and his parents. Yes, I know that the Bible tells us not to worry but pray to God and trust Him instead. But I am still concerned about him because he likes spending time with his friends, playing games and having fun. He seems to lack that focus and concentration which are essential in life if a person wants to accomplish anything significant. I need to remind myself that God is also going to Austin with him to give him the help he will need in college. In fact, He is already there.
Time has gone by so fast. I can’t believe that my youngest one is going to college. As I look back the 18 years God has given me with Josiah, there are so many things to be thankful for. I thank God for his precious smile. He often smiled at us bringing much joy into our lives. I thank God for his health. He rarely got sick and didn’t cause us to take him to Dr. Peter Jung’s office too often. I thank God for his athletic abilities. He played in middle school football team, basketball team and tennis team. Although his football team lost almost every game, it was fun watching him play both a kicker and wide receiver with his big helmet on. He also played four years of soccer in high school. During the season, my wife and I went out to see every game that was played on Tuesday. It was our date night and we had so much fun watching him play. I thank God that he likes his steak medium rare. I thank God for his playfulness. Pastor Sam shares with me that he is the life of the party, and wherever he goes, there is laughter and he is in the middle of it. And I thank God for his desire to be on mission trips. I don’t know if he enjoyed being on mission trips because he loved God or his friends were going to be there. I would like to think that it is because of both.
As he is about to leave home and go to college, my prayer is that he will meet good friends who will spur him on in his walk with Christ, meet good church community where he can learn, grow and serve, meet good mentors who will guide him in his professional field and meet good wife with whom he will serve the Lord faithfully all the days of his life. I will surely miss him.
Now, I don’t have any more high school child in my house. And I praise God for that, too!
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