Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Do You Have a “Jared?”

The Book of Proverbs is a collection of wisdom sayings written primarily by Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived. The son of King David. In Chapter 10, Solomon writes, “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother” (Proverbs 10:1; NIV). Today, August 12, is my youngest son Jared’s birthday. He turns thirty-two today. Jared was an “unexpected child.” You see, after two boys, we were not actually planning on more children, when we discovered one day that Renée was pregnant. I have always said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the future.” Solomon tells us as much later in Chapter 16, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9; NLT). I am so glad God’s plan for us was to have three sons. I cannot imagine my life without Jared.

In May of last year, I finally received my doctorate. It took me a while. I was fifty-five years old. Yet, even with Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees now, in my opinion, without a doubt, my son Jared is still the smartest person I know. When he is interested in something, philosophy, religion, astronomy, economics, history, agriculture, whatever, he does extensive research on the subject, and before you know it, he could easily teach the subject at the college level. It is truly amazing. He is also multi-talented. I know a lot of parents say that about their kids, but I have never been “that parent.” Still, Jared excelled at soccer and swimming. He can cook and garden. He can play the guitar, bass, piano, drums (better than I can, and I have been playing for forty-two years), and writes music as well. Really great songs. Better than the two hundred or so that, I wrote over my fifteen-years in a band. Jared has always succeeded at work. Wherever he worked, his employer would eventually discover his gifts and talents, and he would soon rise to positions of responsibility. Sure, like any human, he is a sinner and has his weaknesses, but “A wise son brings joy to his father” and over the past thirty-two years, he has brought me such joy.

I mention Jared today, because it is his birthday, and because I am certain you have a “Jared” in your life. I hope you do, and I hope if there is someone in your life that has brought you great joy, that you would let them know. Soon. I have done literally hundreds of funerals in my twenty-three years of ministry and at funerals; I hear the nicest things about people. Yet, I often wonder, did they tell that person any of it while they were still alive to hear? Don’t wait. Tell your “Jared,” your parents, friends, children, how you feel about them. About the difference they made in your life. How much you love them. None of us knows how much time we have. That is particularly clear during this time of coronavirus. It would be such a shame to miss the opportunity. So, Jared, I just want you to know, you have brought so much joy to this dad. Thank you. Happy birthday. 


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