Yesterday, my oldest son turned fourteen. I swear we were just taking pictures of him at fourteen months, when his nearly-Irish-twin brother and best friend entered the world. In some ways, everything has changed since then, and in others, very little.
Just last week, his giant hands gently captured a tiny lizard to befriend. My eyes leaked as I remembered that his tiny hands used to do this frequently when he was a toddler. The size of those hands may have changed, but the spirit of the boy donning them has not changed too drastically.
I remember experiencing delight and wonder as his little personality began to emerge. I did not imagine then that the wonder continued even into their teenage years when little boys start to grow into increasingly independent young men.
Amidst the worshipful wondering, there is also a lot of quizzical wondering. Are we doing this right? Are we missing some glaring gaps in his development? What are his unique passions and proclivities? Will he find friends who will help him run the race God set out for him?
Amidst all those deeper questions, I also found myself wondering, “What in the world do you buy a fourteen year old for his birthday on a budget?” It was easier when it was wooden trains and bubbles. As I wondered about what to get for our growing son, the Lord led me on a deeper journey as I realized I wanted to give him the world.
If we had the means, I would want to take him to all the places to see and experience all the things. If it were in my power, I would want to secure for him the best education, a spot on the best sports teams, and all the other superlatives.
But to do all in my power to point him to Christ is better than the world.
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
In fact, to have Christ is to have the One who made the world and everything in it (Acts 17:24-25). To have Him is have all things (1 Corinthians 3:21-23). To have him is to have the friend who sticks even closer than his best friend of a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
If we could barely afford the ear buds, we definitely cannot afford to give him the world. But we don’t have to do so; Christ has already paid the exorbitant price with his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
To Give You the World
I want to give you the world,
I want your joy to be complete.
I want to secure every good thing,
Wrap it and lay it at your feet.
The bossy, glossy ads entice me
To buy into their counterfeits-
To give you all the fancy things,
To seek satisfaction in the blitz.
But the world I want to give you
Money and effort cannot secure,
The world I want to give you
Seems like less but is far more.
Having Him, you have the world;
Without Him, all is for naught.
I long for you to be wrapped
In the righteousness He bought.
We will do the birthday lunch and the cake and all the things. But the most important work is already done by Christ, my son. May you know Him as long as you have breath.