When you were born, they were crowning kings. It was a church conference, actually. It started a few days after your appearance, but the church had been preparing for it for weeks. They called it a leadership conference, and I have always believed the coincidence could have been prophecy, too.
It’s an amazing thing to have a little boy. To belong to him before he can speak. To feel so connected to him that his lips and fingers and eyelashes still feel more like an extension of you than an entirely different being. And you know there is the potential for great good, and yes, great evil, all wrapped into that wiggling, gurgling bundle, but you don’t imagine it. You just embrace the glory that is a brand new human being with the possibility of everything inside him.
Back in the beginning of our time on earth, a great glory was bestowed upon us. All of us – men and women – were created in the image of God. Fearfully and wonderfully made, as the saying goes. Living icons of the living God. Those who have ever stood before him fall to their knees without even thinking, as you find yourself breathless before the Grand Canyon, a sunrise, the cliffs by the sea. That glory was shared with us; we were, in Chesterton’s phrase, “statues of God walking about in a Garden,” endowed with strength and beauty all our own. All that you ever wished you could be, you were – and more. We were glorious.
-John Eldredge, Epic
I took this picture at the parade last week, and I love it, because it is a picture of men.
When I meet a teacher of junior high students, I always thank them. I tell them, It takes a special grace to love junior high kids, and – especially now that I have some of my own – I’m so grateful there are people who can love that age group. But the truth is, I am one of those people.
In junior high, you are still so much of that child with nothing but awesome potential inside, and yet you’re fully man. Your decisions are your own, and they are making you.
Life is hard for us wee humans as we grow. It’s filled with trouble and fighting and sickness and this thing called original sin, in which all our buddies and all those beautiful girls, our parents, our teachers, and definitely ourselves, really have the unrelenting tendency to be completely selfish and horrible. It’s hard to navigate, hard to grow correctly inside of that, hard to stay focused on the light.
But do it anyway. Be glorious. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Have convictions. Aim.
You won’t be perfect. Perfect and glorious aren’t the same thing at all. But glorious is very, very brave. It will take everything you’ve got. But trust me, you’ve definitely got it. I know this. I was there.