Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

My Son … My Hero

When I told my family we were moving to Florida it was met with mixed reactions from my children. My youngest was excited not realize the magnitude of moving away from friends and family. My oldest accused me of destroying her life and taking her away from everything she knew. My middle son was nervous but accepting. It was my second oldest .. Ira .. I was worried the most about because he was and remains Mr. Routine. He does not like change.

Before we moved I was grilling and he stood beside me. Every several minutes of awkward silence he said, “I’m kind of scared about moving so far away but as long as we’re together as a family … that’s all that matters.” In that moment he ministered to me. The move was my fault. It was a place to go for my wife and I to seek restoration and others to have space. Moving from one to state to another may not seem that big until you’ve done it. I am simply refering to the logistics. Moving from the northeast to the southeast was huge culture change. I had lived there over 40 years. Our extended family was all there as well as friends of a lifetime. We knew no one in Florida except the pastor of the church. No jobs. No contacts. No network. It was our family, a new church family, and God.

My oldest daughter struggled to adjust in her new school. When we arrived they were already one month into the school year. My younger two made friends quickly. Ira did the unthinkable. The guy who hated change did something he had never done … at less than 5 feet in stature and not quite ninety pounds he joined the Varsity tackle football team. One of the staff members watched him at practice one afternoon. She commented on how small he was to the giants he was standing near. She asked him if he was worried about playing against boys so much bigger than him. He shrugged and said, “that’s what pads are for.” Here and there he would get to play a minue or two in the game.

In the last game of the season (turned out to be the last game of tackle football for the school) the coach put Ira in as a receiver. He caught a pass from the QB and was pounded into the ground. His mother didn’t see it. In the next play he received a hand off and ran it in for a touch down. The last one for the school. Fans from both teams cheered and he was carried off the field as people chanted “Rudy – Rudy – Rudy!” I choked back tears that night.

When he was five he realized for the first time he was smaller than everyone else in his own class. We had one of those father son chats. I told him he could sit on the couch and feel sorry for himself and let life pass by or he could try do anything he wanted to try. He has played Varsity soccer, football, baseball, and he has turned heads as a Varsity point guard breaking down a three man press by himself which has earned him awards and accolades from other coaches within the conference.

There is so much I could write about this young man. Whether it’s teaching himself to play drums or learning the piano or surrendering to the call to ministry. I have caught him doing things like reading his Bible and praying. He’s a testimony and a witness. His siblings followed his lead in our getting settled here in Florida. Is he perfect? No. But he is my son and my hero.

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