I said goodbye to my youngest child the other day, when my husband and I left him at college a few thousand miles from home. I hid the usual sniff-sniff and wiping of the eyes from our son Rob, of course. But I noticed that as his dad and I drove out of the college driveway, that Rob took two lingering, backward glances at our green Mazda. We were leaving him to begin his God-inspired risk.
Back on the freeway on which we had spent the last week doing a road trip with our young guy, my husband, David, and I remembered a shared joke, a laugh, especially at the spot just outside of Calgary where David got lost. It was as we drove past that particular turnoff that it hit me.
My husband took a sideways glance at me, reached into the backseat and grabbed a roll of paper towel. I buried my face in the towels and let it all out. Both David and I knew that things would never be the same again. Sure, our son would come home at Christmas, but time had been encapsulated for us as we travelled home in a much, much lighter car.
At home in a terribly quiet house—no rock music, no jazz, no blues, no electric guitar whining upstairs, or the steady thoom thoom of Rob’s bass—I began to refocus on what God wanted me to do in the next little while. It’s not that I don’t have things to do. My calendar for the next two months is crammed. Rob's life is not the only one in transition. The last year has been made up of, what I hoped, was faith-filled risks. I left my well-paying job to spend more time on the goal of becoming a published author, to follow what I felt sure was God’s leading.
It's been a journey of open and closed doors, and I've learned that a closed door is as much an answer to prayer as an open one. But have I done the right thing in encouraging my son to take a risk on a music degree? Have I been an example worth following, as I blaze my own faith trail? Should I have encouraged him to go to the local community college and get a diploma or degree that would guarantee him steady employment?
Have I set my son on a trail of woes because I encouraged him to take that risk of following the passion of his heart?
Then I rememember on what, or should I say on WHOM, the risk is riding?
Neither my son, nor I have taken these risks without the still small voice of our God whispering in our ears. The passion is not one we came up with willy-nilly, but rather one that's been bathed in prayer.
So we're on the trail, Lord, totally in your hands. I know you won't lose us.