A few Saturdays back, David spent time with godly man #26 which means that we are halfway through this project. So, it’s time for some parental reflection on what this journey has meant. What has this meant for me and for my son?
For me, it has involved a lot of phone calls and e-mails. As you can imagine, compiling a list and checking it twice, calling to find out who’s naughty and nice … oh, wait, that’s not my job. But making the list, reviewing each candidate as carefully as I can based on what I know or what I’m able to find out about each person, is a big task in and of itself.
Then there is the scheduling. Some people are quick to respond via e-mail or phone. They have a calendar in front of them and are readily available to pick a date in the month I offer them. Some are so packed I’ve had to schedule out 6 months in advance (talk about a busy life!). Some of the men have (very graciously) fit us in even though they are quite busy.
I’ve only had a couple of declines. One was due to a recent illness. The other was due to a change in job situations — I’m still hoping on that one to work out (you know who you are).
The online calendar has made this a lot easier for everyone, I think, including my wife who is managing much more than this project.
There have been quite a number of miles driven. Most of the men are local. Some have been over a hundred miles away. A couple were over 600 miles distant but had something valuable which I wanted them to contribute to my son’s learning process.
The times in the car with David to and from these meetings have afforded me an opportunity to query him on what he is learning. Each drop off trip includes a primer on key points about the man he is meeting along with any additional topics he may want to broach. Each pick up trip includes the key question: “What was the most important thing you learned from ____ today?” We’ve had some good discussions about those truths and lessons.
For David, I have seen him become even more confident in his dealing with other people (and he wasn’t shy to begin with) and more confident in his dealing with me. This latter part is important to me. Teenage years are fraught with danger and rebellion, as all of us who have passed through them are aware. A different model is to approach your parents with confidence, begin to spread your wings, learn to express your differences of opinion without rejecting the wisdom of your elders. David is trying to go the better route from what I’ve seen.
He hasn’t had many profound revelations on possible careers. But he has seen some careers which he now understands probably are NOT the best choice for him given his temperament and giftings. That’s worth something.
I’d still like to see more of what might be termed divine intervention or the prophetic at work in the meetings. But I also realize that God works miracles in the mundane.
It has been a great journey, and we’ve still a ways to go.