Monday, January 02, 2012

A Humbled Father: Confessions Part II

CityWatch, Dec 27, 2011
Vol 9 Issue 103

RETHINKING LIFE - My newborn son was still at the hospital when his footprints were taken, an old tradition that has lost its usefulness as a mechanism for identification but one that continues to take place as a generator of keepsakes.

Some friends who happen to be fairly serious runners came by to visit and their first comment when looking at Sydney’s footprints was to exclaim “Oh my, he has the feet of a runner!”

I swelled with pride, picturing our son running for the finish line, convinced that our newborn was destined to be a champion.

It was later that somebody observed Sydney’s hands as he waved them in the air, commenting on his long, lean fingers “Oh my, he has the hands of a pianist!”

Again, I swelled with pride, picturing our son performing, further convinced that our newborn was destined to be a champion.

My confidence in his unique destiny as a champion continued as I watched my wife feed him, after all, he had a veracious appetite. As I watched him sleep, I was sure this was the sleep of a champion.

As I held my little champion in my arms, I imagined how pleased my father would have been to meet Sydney, to lift him up and to bless him and I knew what he would have said. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men.”

I was humbled.

Yes, it would be wonderful if Sydney has the feet of an athlete and it would be a joy if he has the hands of an artist, but what truly matters is that he has feet that walk the talk, that he has hands that reach out to those in need, and that he has the heart of a leader, one that is committed to service.

I regretted contemplating Sydney’s future as a champion, a role that typically revolves around competition with others, resulting in victors and vanquished.

My only hope for Sydney is that he is true, that he does what is right and that he finds peace in his journey, whether he leads or follows, regardless of whether his role is in the limelight or in the audience.

It’s been less than a month since Sydney joined us and I’m already learning from him, reminded that my role is to remember my father’s words and to teach my son by example.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at:

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