It was almost 20 years ago when I held my first-born son Caleb in my arms in the hospital room. I don’t remember the doctor or anyone else telling us that there would come a day when my wife and I would load our van full of our baby boy’s possessions and drive him across the country to move into the dorm room and have to say goodbye to him! And yet, here we are in beautiful British Columbia dropping off Caleb for his first semester at Pacific Life Bible College (incidentally, my alma mater).
Ironically, I made the same trip to BC twenty four years ago. And now, its our job as parents to trust that we have done our part in training our son in the way he should go, in recognizing right from wrong, and encouraging him to pursue his God-given dreams.
Yesterday in my Bible reading I came across the passage in First Kings 2:1-3 where King David was old and ready to die, and he passed along some fatherly advice to his son Solomon: “As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: “I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the LORD your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.“
And so my advice to my 19 year old son Caleb as we are getting ready to leave him here in Surrey, BC and return home to Beausejour, Manitoba (over 2,300 kilometers away) is this:
- Your name Caleb means courageous. You were named after one of the greatest heroes in the Bible.
- Be strong in the Lord!
- Take courage and be a man!
- Be a mighty man of God!
- Always remember your favourite Scripture verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13).
- Stay close to Jesus in prayer every day.
- Don’t neglect your Bible reading.
- Be the leader God has called and destined you to be, and influence others for good and for God every day.
- Stay faithful and committed to going to church every week.
- And, to the best of your ability, live right and obey God’s commandments.
If you do this, God has promised to bless you.
And never forget that you are deeply loved by God, your mom and I, and many other people in your life. We believe in you, we are behind you supporting you and encouraging you every step of the way.
I love you Caleb! God bless you as you begin this new adventure of faith…
Calvin and Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.