Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Letting Go, Part Two

We did it. We let go yesterday. Our son took his first big step in joining The Long Grey Line.

It was a long day. A morning of what the Army calls hurry up and wait. The lines were certainly long, with many young men and women anticipating the day before them. An afternoon of waiting for the parents. Waiting to see their children transformed. An afternoon of transformation for the new cadets. Haircuts. Uniforms. Learning to salute. Learning to march. Learning to make a bed.

By 5:40, the initial transformation was complete and the waiting was over. Thirteen hundred new cadets marched past the crowds of parents and friends and stood in front of the monument on Trophy Point to take their oath. The crowds cheered. The band played. And then they retreated to the mess hall. And the crowds retreated to their cars.

We were all reassured by the Superintendent, Commandant, and Dean of Academics that our young men and women would be cared for well. That they would receive one of the best educations available. That they were now part of the West Point family.

We let go. With sadness that we would no longer enjoy the daily interaction with our son. But with great joy that he has given himself to a greater cause. The cause of protecting and defending the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. And the cause of Christ, who came that all men might, through faith in Him, enjoy eternal freedom from sin and death.

The verse on our calendar yesterday was from Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way that he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. While this is not a promise, it is generally true that proper early training provided by parents ensures that a child develops lifelong habits and attitudes that lead him to live a godly life. As our son's training at West Point builds upon the foundation that we have given him, we can only pray that he does not depart from it. That he continues to choose to live for Christ and for Christ alone.

We let go. Physically. But not emotionally or spiritually. We will continue to pray for and encourage our son to be, as the Army says, all he can be. All that God made him to be.


Penny said...

You are such an encouragement to us. There are no words that truly express the extent of the blessing you are to all of us! We will continue to pray for James as he begins this new journey. If any young man was ever ready, it is he! He is one of my favorite persons. With God's help, you & your wife have done a wonderful job "training him up". As we prepare to let our daughter go, we will be encouraged by your God-given strength.
Love in Him,
Penny & Mandie

Ricky Family Blessings said...

I've never been so inspired by anything in my life. I have been far away from my family from some time now and I'm wishing I could better know the importance of Family Blessings from you. I will continue reading your blog.