Thursday, March 14, 2013

Uncle Mike's Letter To Josh


So, now that you’re thirteen, your dad says I ought to impart some sage advice as you cross the threshold into manhood. Well, unfortunately, he seems to have failed to realize that since you are now officially a teenager, you already know everything anyway, so what’s the point? Sorry...had to get the teenager joke out of the way. But seriously....that will be my first piece of advice: no one likes a know it all. Only the immature think they know everything; a wise man seeks counsel. So be a wise man. If that sounds like a proverb, it probably is...somewhere.

Which leads me to my second piece of advice: Read the proverbs. Nothing I could say in this letter can hold a candle to the wisdom contained in the word of God. The proverbs were written especially for young men seeking wisdom as they navigated the turbulent waters into maturity. But don’t stop at the proverbs. Keep your nose in your bible. Live it, love it. Breathe it in and out. Your dad is the man he is today because of the instruction in the word. God demonstrates manhood for us. Read about how he fathered Israel, and how Jesus loves his bride, the church. Look at how the son loved his heavenly father and was always faithful, even when he was called to do hard things.

Remember that manhood is servant leadership. You are united to Christ, so your destiny will follow after His destiny as a vine mirrors the branch from which it derives all sustenance and vitality. This means your life will be one of humility, suffering and self-sacrifice. Sorry. That’s inevitable. But just
as you will suffer and serve with him, so you will be raised up and exalted with him. So don’t live life as if this is your only shot. There is a whole new creation waiting for you on the other side of the veil. An everlasting inheritance stored up for those who persevere.

So press on. Even when it’s hard and you just want to give up or give in to self. Know that God gives you the grace and supplies you with all you need so you will hear him on the last day: “My kingdom was in dire need of godly men. Thank you Josh, for answering the call.” At which point, you will cast your crown at his feet and say, “My Lord, all I am and all I have done is only by the power of your grace in me. I claim no credit for myself but give all glory to God.” Amen.

More advice: A godly man is not obsessive about controlling his life, he simply trusts in God, who numbers the hairs of our head. A godly man does not demand insight into why God has ordained the circumstances of his life, he simply fears God, and keeps his commandments. Remember that God formed you to be exactly the person that you are. You have a place in his kingdom that no one else can fill. That guy over there is really awesome at being himself. You will be terrible at it. So don’t try to be that guy. Be Josh, and be content with that.

Stop once in a while just to admire the beauty of creation. The world is His canvas. Enjoy the good things he has given you. Have fun to the glory of God. (If God didn’t have fun once in a while, the duck-bill platypus would never have existed). Sing songs, and sing them boldly. If it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for you. (Matt 26:30) Learn to appreciate poetry, art, music, elegant prose, a fine cooked meal, a well-crafted piece of furniture. When we are creative we are imitating our father in heaven and this brings Him glory, even if it does not bring us a cent. “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” (This is not a proverb....but it is nevertheless true).

Josh, it has been a pleasure to watch you grow up, and as the first born of your generation of Greggs, you will always have a special place. I look forward to the coming days where we will labor for His Kingdom together as fellow workers until that blessed day of rest when we see our savior face to face.

For His glory,
Uncle Mike

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