Another Year Goes By

Posted on 3 min read 108 views

I watched life change before me today. It’s been happening a lot lately, but today’s scene weighed on my heart and mind, and showed me that life continues to run its course.

Christian got a new bike for Christmas. He desperately needed it. His older bike was fit for a 4-year-old and wreaked of rust as he rode by. So getting a brand new, much larger red bike for Christmas was a big deal. He loves it and has taken it for a spin each day since he saw the red bow wrapped around its handlebars under the tree. But today was the first time since we moved that a neighborhood kid has come cruising by and asked if they wanted to ride along.

When I heard them ask, I was so happy for the boys. To my surprise, Everen said they couldn’t because they weren’t allowed. (Boy did I feel like an overprotective dad…) I assured them that it would be alright if they stayed within my line of sight. Another protest came. “But dad, they’re riding around the block.” Decisions, decisions…… I looked at the group of kids…they looked responsible enough. So I gave them permission and off they went down the street and around the block. Three laps under my watchful eye (hey, this is Southern California…anything can happen here) and I suddenly realized that they’re growing up and becoming more independent. It was as if God was lifting scales from my eyes and showing me that I have no control over the ebbs and flows of life. It just rolls on. And as it does, my role and my life change again and again.

2008 has been an interesting year, to say the least. I’ve gone from mourning to coping to becoming myself again…just Jon. My job became the demanding position it was two years ago. Add to that a contributing role to, after-school care, tutoring, ARTS, and a great fitness routine and I’m nearly spent.

One of my biggest disappointments has been the distance I put between myself and the Man who ransomed my life and saved me from my foolishness and pride many years ago. I became busy this year. Sure, that happens to single parents, but if I’m gonna be honest with myself, I have no one to blame but the man I see in the mirror each morning. My heart didn’t change, but the time I committed to growing in that most important relationship went down considerably. I want it back. I need it back.

I have many things on my mind and on my heart now. Take your pick and it’s probably there. More than anything else, though, is my desire to become the man God wants me to be. It seems so unattainable sometimes; so far out of reach. And frankly, do I really know what He wants me to be anyway? I aspire to greatness, to be sure. But why? Only God knows.

And that, my friends, is what I’ve learned most of all this year. Only God truly knows. My life is really not about me. Yes, I have choices to make on a daily basis…how do I react to this or that? But in the end, those choices are merely a reflection of how I choose to participate in the master plan God set in motion when time began. And He knows that if I will simply follow His lead and direction, the impact I will make on this world will match up with the expectations He had for me when He gave me life 37 years ago.

So in 2009, I will do a better job at asking Him for directions.

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.
Love always.

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