This post is not sponsored by America’s Dairy Farmers.
It is however, dedicated to my middle son, Evan. He is a truly amazing young man, with a sharp wit, a vibrant personality, an independent work ethic and a centered soul.
While Evan is a great reflection of his parents, he is distinctly Evan.
He earned his Confirmation today, entering through one of life’s many Doorways.
The letter below is a call for him to own his faith. It further expresses hope that he build upon his foundation of character; steering with integrity in the moments of choice. Especially the hard ones.
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
At one time in your life you really liked milk.
So much so that when you were fourteen months old – with a little help from Will – you tried to help yourself to a whole gallon. A testament to your strength, the gallon was nearly half your weight. Despite that, you heaved it up mightily for a refreshing sip. But it was way beyond the US recommended daily allowance.
Surprisingly (or was it?) Mom was busy talking to a neighbor as the gallon glanced off the kitchen floor, yielding most of its contents to gravity and spiking irreverently off the cabinets and your forehead.
Gifted with an ability to see the beauty in life’s messy moments – Mom grabbed her InstaChrome camera and captured this incredible moment.
While milk is not so much your drink of choice anymore, this picture has endured on our dresser as a subtle reminder of the choices we make in life. I don’t think I quite drew the parallel until I wrote you this “palanca” letter.
Choosing a beverage other than milk as your favorite was made without much forethought. But not all your choices will be so.
The tougher ones are almost never as automatic. Solving the bigger dilemmas will entail recognizing and eliminating choices, especially the false ones. But without getting all technical, ALL choices require you to exercise your free will.
Your faith is a choice like that.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey:
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. And in that space is the power to choose. And in that choice lies our growth and freedom.”
Your Mom chose laughter and photography when you “Got Milk”. Yes, that would have been a huge stretch for me. But we are all defined by our choices. One day, I might choose a camera over a mop.
Today, with your free will – you choose to become fully Catholic. You are opting in to faith. You are choosing growth and freedom.
Tomorrow, you must choose again. And next week. And next month. And it might get harder. But alas, it will be your choice.
Let faith be your freedom and never a burden. When you misplace it (and you will) remember you “Got Milk” before – and you can always ask your Father to help you get it back. He has the picture. Just ask Him to help remember where you placed it.
Choose well Son, and be well pleased by your choices.
With much love, respect, faith and hope.
Dad and Mom