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Andrew's Fifteen year old poem:

The One Most Likely To . . .

Happy Birthday Andrew
Though belated this poem be
That's not a reflection on you
But a reflection on disorganized, scatterbrained me
On a day over fifteen years ago
I wrote, inspired, of our coming little one
The high school years then seemed so distant
And yet here we are, and seemingly in an instant
My young son, a young man
Broad shouldered, handsome, strong,
Engaged in a new adventure
A new stage, a new song
And, if it can believed
Far closer to that day
When you're all grown up and gone away

Now, dare I use the "P"-word?
Potential, that's a word you've heard
A thousand times, but I'm banishing it from this space
Because, as you seek to find your place
On this globe, maybe that's not what you need right now
Pressure coming down, I think it's time we allow
you to become
Without the (sometimes dumb)
comments from various peanut galleries
For there is only One
That I desire for you to please
And it isn't me
(except, of course, in corollary)
Though your Mom and I have our role
To direct, guide, encourage,
discipline, cajole
And sometimes wield the iron hand
Of authority, for that's how God has planned
This thing to work
But only for a little while longer
For each day you grow more independent,
stronger
And, we pray, ever closer to His will

Though, if I may, I would like to, just for a moment,
brag on your skills
And such skills! Chicks like a guy with skills
Basketball skills . . . guitar skills . . .
piano skills . . . bow hunting skills
(Just kidding about that last one)
But your God-given talents are there
Right alongside your famous, talented hair
And we are so proud of you
And your teachers are too
"Andrew's so smart," they declare
"Everyone likes him," and that's no shocker
"He's got the skills," (that's not exactly how they put it)
"Although he's a bit of a talker."
And, indeed, the running commentary
That you helpfully provide in your classes
Is near-legendary; be that as it may
I'm not saying this trait passes
muster, mister, there are issues to be worked on
But what I am saying is: put on those sunglasses
Because your future's bright
Even for one such as you, and I don't mean to sound trite
But you, my tortured artist,
ghetto poet,
weeping prophet,
You have it made
If you play your cards right

And, in all seriousness,
I can only imagine, and dimly remember
The life of a freshman
Knowing that the past is no predictor
of the future, of what lies ahead
The days blur, your mind awhirl
with what went on, what will happen
What she said
The past that you miss
The present a drudgery
In the midst of your trudgery
Feeling the weight of who you are
And what you were created to be

And in you I see much that was me
We're deep thinkers we are, I'm afraid you got
that trait from my branch of the tree
We have trouble having fun
Even standing without a care in the sun
It is easy for us to peer cynical
At the rainclouds on the horizon
Deep thinkers thinking our deep thoughts
We miss the beauties that linger
On the surface of the water
Plunged as we are deep down
Into the heavy darkness below; at times
Embedded deep in the reasons we miss the rhymes

As step by step each choice is made
In the daily sprint that is the stock in trade
Of the fifteen year old,
in this quest for your ways
Searching for the kind of person
You will be the rest or your days.
Surrounded by a million voices
Each one calling you this or that way
There is no single fork in the road of your choices
But a million, an entire kitchen-cabinet of forks
To take each day. Each one toward or away
From the man that you are meant to be
The man most likely to . . .

To do what? Well, there's the riddle
It's easy, I'm sure, to feel in the middle
Of a circle, ringed about by the pointing fingers
And expectations of parents, teachers, leaders
Those that have their own hopes and dreams for you
The temptation is so great, knowing who you are
What you can do
To set the bar
Without really thinking, who's bar are we setting?
The only hopes and dreams with which you need to bother
Are the loving meditations of your heavenly Father
The only Voice, what God is saying
be who He has made you to be
Because His way is best,
though swimming out of the shallows
And into His deep waters
can be a hard road to follow
And it requires patience
And turning away from the strong temptation
for the path of least resistance
Though that's the world's way, it's not for you
God has called you to higher highs
and, sometimes, lower lows
As anyone who's read the Scriptures knows
Everyone great has their time in the desert
Their time herding sheep and selling tents
Times of joy and sorrow,
uplifts and descents
Learning to be faithful in the small
So that He can make us great, in His time, after all

And that's why we need Jesus
Because I believe full well
That He is not only most likely
But most definitely sure
To complete the work, good and true
He has started in you
Whatever that may be
Human that I am, I can't see
All the details, and it's not wise to guess
But, your mom by my side, we'll just do our best
To love you no matter what
And prepare, while you're in our care
For you, for that day, soon coming,
When the world opens up out there

And you stride in.

Love,

Dad
November 16, 2004