I remember the first real baseball game my dad ever saw me play. I was 14 and he had come in from Las Vegas to visit. I was the leadoff batter and we were the visiting team, so I was the very first batter. Unbelievably, I hit my very first homerun over the fence in my life. I had been hitting the ball pretty good but never even close to a home run. I guess I was just pumped up to see him at my game. Life is funny sometimes; things don’t always turn out like you want them to. Sometimes you face problems and challenges that make you want to stay in the dugout. But, a real man will step up to the plate and swing with all he has. Sometimes he will hit a homerun; sometimes he will strike out or even dribble one out to the pitcher. But, if you have the courage to try, you will get a lot of hits. One thing for sure is that you will be known by your willingness to step up and take your cuts.
The second characteristic that Mr. Lewis talks about in his definition of manhood is about responsibility. He says a real man takes responsibility. You and I defined that as stepping up to the plate. Over these next couple of years I want to see you take more and more responsibility. Someday you will be the man of your house and you will be in charge. You will own a number of responsibilities (sometime you will feel like they own you). You will be responsible for providing for your family’s needs. You will be responsible for your family’s safety. You will be responsible for your family’s well being. You will be responsible to be the kind of man that God wants you to be. All of these responsibilities will challenge you and you will be tempted to stay in the dugout. But, the exciting part of life is looking out at the pitcher challenging him give you his best pitch. There is nothing more fun than to send one out of the park. But, win lose or draw you have got to get in the game. Take chances! Don’t settle for status quo!
What I am asking from you for now is to take small steps. When you start a job, finish it. When mom and I put you in charge of something do it with all your heart. Take care of your stuff. Work hard at school and your activities. Be a servant. Be a contributor in the family. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I love your passion! Use your passion to help our family succeed. If our family succeeds you will succeed.
Watch out for the curveballs! They are tough to hit! But, they can be hit!
Letters to Josh is a series of letters written from a dad to his son Josh trying to capture some of the important life lessons he wanted to pass on. These letters are a bit random in nature but each is written to address a key issue in the development of a young man. These letters are written from a very imperfect father whose love knows no bounds for his son. These letters are shared with you (the reader) only because we hope that the things we are learning and thinking through will help you and your sons.
Tim Howington is is a thinker, encourager, and seeker. A former full time minister, he is currently in the restaurant business by day and a part time writer by night. You can find him blogging at www.thehowitzerrants.com and ReadyAimLife.com. He lives with his wife of 20+ years and son in NW Arkansas with two cats and golden retriever.