“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV)
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As my heritage and reward from the Lord, my son Nathan is much taller than I am, ‘mouthier’ than I am, and braver than I am. He is loving and kind though opinionated and stubborn. He stands up for those less fortunate as I do and tries to understand the ‘other point of view’ even when it’s a struggle. More importantly and above all, he is blessed and touched by God, and for this I am thankful.
I was away from home for an entire week, travelling on business. What this meant was that I would be missing my son’s participation in an annual international judo competition being hosted by Barbados over the weekend. I had helped with securing media coverage of the event over the last few months and usually operated the score board during the matches (volunteers are usually at a premium). I couldn’t believe the clash in dates, but had no choice.
It is situations like these that challenge us in doing the right thing as a parent. I agonized and worried and worked my brain cells into one big knot because I wasn’t going to be there to lend my support. Worse yet, he got sick on the Friday before the competition and developed a high fever. Oh why wasn’t I at home to look after him? After training so hard for more than an entire year it looked as though he wasn’t going to make it.