To my child as you grow up,
The clock tells me it’s almost time for your first parent-teacher conference of the year, and I’m eager to hear how you’re doing. I want to know how you’re progressing in math and learn more about your reading assessments. I wonder if you will have Award’s Day this year and, if so, will you receive a certificate or award.
But as important as these things are, other things matter so much more to me. I want to know if you’re kind to the other students. I want to know if you sit with the new kid at lunch. I’m curious if you notice the one playing by herself at recess, and if you invite her to play with you.
For the first time this past spring you played baseball. Your dad and I yelled your name in excitement when you had a good hit or managed to stop the ball. Your Daddy would give you a wink when you glanced his way and a high-five when the game was over. You received a trophy (as all the kids did at this age) and it sits on your dresser upstairs.
Your hits and trophy make us proud, but more than this, I care about how you treated your teammates. Did you encourage them when it was their turn to bat? Were you respectful to your coaches? Did you look at the opposing team with understanding knowing they want to win too?
Your daddy is a minister, and church is an integral part of our family’s life. I want you to go to church, worship with fellow believers, sing songs of praise, hear God’s word read, and say collective prayers of thanksgiving to God.
But more than this, my child, I want you to know Jesus personally. I want you to have more than a knowledge of God in your head; I want you to have a relationship with God in your heart. I want your faith to be more than a set of rules or standards by which you live but instead be the very core of who you are. I hope you will know God, but even more, I hope you will enjoy God.
I hope you’ll pursue your dreams and choose a career that fuels your passion. I want you to work hard, always being willing to go the extra mile. It’s important to give your best to all you do in life, and I want you to excel.
But more than this, I want you to help others. Should you choose to climb “the ladder,” with each step you take, look behind you, reach out a hand, and pull another up with you. Pursue advancement if you wish, but never at the expense of stepping on another.
Society will encourage you that “you” are the most important but understand this selfishness is the cause of much hardship and turmoil in this life. You see, life is not solely about you and your happiness. It’s about the difference you can make in the lives of others because when it’s all said and done, this is the only thing that lasts.
You want to leave a legacy. You want people to remember you…I understand. But a true legacy can never be hung in a frame on the wall, displayed proudly on a prominent shelf, or piled high in a bank account. None of these things will last.
A legacy that matters is one that is remembered, loved, and lived out in the heart of another, not solely because of anything you did or how you helped them, but more importantly because you pointed them to the eternal—because you pointed them to God.
As you grow, invest in matters of the soul. And you will indeed live a life that matters.
I love you now and always,