I have spoken and written much of my constant battle with fear. It has been too strong a force for too long a time in my life. If I had to choose a fictional character to represent me, it very well might be the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.
I have come to understand that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the strength to face the fear – and thereby overcome it.
God has used my role as a dad to teach me a lot of things in myriad ways. But one little, hard-headed, rough-housing boy has been, perhaps, God’s most powerful tool over the last several years in renovating my own heart.
My son Andrew – known to many by Drew and many others by Andrew and by close family as Drewby – is one of the most courageous people I have ever known in so many ways. And through him I have grown in courage and strength to face many of my fears head-on.
Let me be clear. It has not been easy. It’s not easy to discipline a kid who is not afraid of much. I could write a book of stories of difficult situations we have endured. But in each and every difficult step, God has taught me so much.
The stories bring lots of laughter. This boy stole a not-fully-baked cinnamon roll off the pan while it was still in the oven – at about three years old. About that same time I turned around one day while working out in the yard to see him standing there eating a stick of butter like a candy bar. Of course, as soon as I saw him, he took off running.
He just has a passion for what he loves. For instance, brownies…He was staying with his aunt & uncle one weekend when his aunt woke to him closing her bedroom door about 5:30 on a Saturday morning. She got up and put him in bed with her (this was while he was still little and cute and cuddly). A while later, when Aunt Liz went to the bathroom, Drew made a break for it.
Liz heard him in his room struggling with something. As it turns out, he had awakened early and gone to the kitchen and retrieved the pan of brownies off of the kitchen counter and taken it back to his room. Aunt Liz found him mad as a hornet because he couldn’t get the lid off of the pan.
I have watched that little boy grow into an amazing young man. I have seen that passion come to bear on different things, especially football. But lately, as he has let go of that game that was so much a part of his life, I see him directing that passion toward becoming the man God wants to make of him.
I have tried to teach him to be a man of God. He has taught me to be a man of courage. I pray that this, my lion-hearted son, will ever be a passionate, courageous man of God.
The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)