Archive for December 5th, 2011

December 5, 2011

A Gift of a Lifetime

It’s easy to watch a little baby interact with his world and make assumptions about what he’ll be, what he’ll do when he grows up. Sometimes it’s funny, too.

 

When Jacob was younger and rounder, it was fun to joke that he’d be a football player, maybe a linebacker. Or better, the whole line. Still I tried to remember that on Sunday afternoons he was simply enjoying the flickering lights of the television screen, not the action it was portraying. And really, these days he could care less about the lights.

 

When he walks around with books held over his head and triumphantly holds a Cheerio up to the heavens before eating it, it’s easy to say he’s headed for the seminary. And when he chases after dogs at the park, it’s fun to imagine that he’ll be a dog catcher—albeit a bad one; I don’t think you’re supposed to take them all home to play with them.

 

This weekend John and I had the pleasure of seeing his brother Karl play violin with a semi-local singer/songwriter. It was incredible. Karl is so relaxed and yet focused when he plays—and he plays beautifully—and his contribution added another dimension to what would otherwise have been a guy and his guitar (admittedly, my favorite kind of music).

 

While watching him perform, I was struck by how influential a decision his parents made almost twenty-five years ago has been. All John’s siblings, and my brother and I as well, took music lessons at some point in time. It stuck more for some than others, but not for anyone as much as for Karl. These days, while he pursues a career in business, his violin is a source of supplementary income, a social networking tool, a key to keeping him involved in a very active ministry, and—you can tell by watching him play—a source of joy.

 

Saturday night, all I could think about was the hope we have the foresight to offer Jacob the right opportunities and to encourage him to pursue his talents in ways he will enjoy. I hope in this way we will teach him the virtue of hard work and that the fruits of his diligence will serve him for a lifetime, the way they have for Karl.

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