Thursday, February 14, 2008

Taking Inventory

It is a hard thing to admit, even to one’s self, that after knowing you were going to have a child you felt very little emotion. I think back seven months and I was both excited and afraid but ashamedly I admit there was very little love. As I sit here on a plane and read John Steinbeck’s East of Eden I find my self reflecting and evaluating my life just like one of the main characters. Its amazing how ones perspective changes with the tide of life.

One of the main characters in East of Eden, Samuel Hamilton, goes about his rural valley town saying goodbye to all of his friends. You see Samuel had the worst tract of land in all the Salinas Valley, for 50 years he plowed, watered, cultivated, and planted with hardly any success. At this old age his children knew he had very little time left because the hard work and death of one of his children took all the life out of him. To extend his life and try to ease his pain his children have to devise a plan to get him off the farm. His children knew he would never “retire” because he felt it would be like quitting so they each invite him to their own farms across the country. Samuel, no fool, accepts seemingly unaware of their plan. As Samuel goes about his good-byes all his friends can tell he will never return because of the look on his face. Samuel was taking inventory of the things he loved, the friends he helped, the rocky Salinas Valley soil, the distant mountains, the dust bowl that blew through the valley at mid day in the dry season…

Over the last few years I find myself being inspired, evaluating myself, and reflecting on what is important. My mind races at nights with questions: What if I could change the World? Am I loving my wife the right way? Will I be a good father? Do my friends know how I feel about them? Then it hits me…

I can’t believe how much I have changed. What questions was I asking myself 5 years ago? Was I even asking questions 5 years ago? It seems that life moves at a much faster pace as the start grows faint and the end grows clear. After seven months I look back and I don’t know when it happened but I fell in love. I have a daughter on the way and I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do to make sure she knows how much I love her. Laura, I’m sure, has felt this for quite some time but she has the privilege of actually growing her, our daughter is actually part of Laura right now. My question is neither when I fell in love nor how I love something that I can’t see or touch but rather why did it take so long?

I suppose it is for that reason, I couldn’t see or touch her, but why does that matter? At some point I started praying for my unborn daughter and I feel strongly that it was soon after that that she became more than a future child, more than and unborn life, she became my daughter. I thank God that he has blessed us but since this change I have been wrought with fear. It has been my experiences that fear follows close behind reality, undoubtedly because we realize our own short comings, our own faults and desires and inability to change.

Laura and I have been reading and praying about being parents and the decisions we are making will shape our children’s lives. We will affect not only what they experience but also how they experience it. We will more than likely cast part of our own personalities upon them in a unique way. We will definitely affect how they raise their children! Despite the weight of these decisions and the fears we have, we remain confident, not in our selves, but in the promises of God.

I hope that our children grow up and understand them selves, their fears and failures, their strengths and weaknesses, their dependencies and most importantly their need for a savior. We thank you all who have supported us and prayed for us, please don’t stop these last 8 weeks.

1 comment:

Abigail said...

Zach, you are such a wonderful writer! I look forward to stalking your blog and hearing your thoughts on life. Keep it up, new dad!
Hugs to you both,