I was thinking about the two of you, and the lives that you still have in front of you to live, as I was driving today on business in New England.
I was driving up into some mountains. I love mountains. I've wanted to see these particular mountains for a long time now, and here I was with a chance to drive through and explore them. The thing is that the weather conditions were getting worse as I approached them. I could see a storm gathering in the mountains on the road ahead of me. (You can see it in the picture here that I took today.)
I had a choice.
Yes, I am an experienced traveler and I often go down roads that I am have never been on before. Yes, I have driven into hazardous conditions before - like slick snowy curvy mountain roads. I could just drive into them, and I probably would be fine.
Or, I could stop and ask for help from someone who has been on that road before, and may know some things that I don't. Things that could help me save time or that could help keep me safe.
I chose to stop and ask for help, at an information center in a rest area. They had a very helpful guide - a local resident - who knew the road very well and who showed me a route on the map that I had not considered taking. A scenic but safe route.
Not only did the guide help me with good advice, but she gave me a map that I could carry with me on the upcoming miles where she could not be with me. A map that marked the way through the hazards.
I made it safely through the mountains, by keeping the map on the seat next to me and looking at it several times and by taking the route that the guide showed me.
I was thinking that this experience is like the life that you have ahead of you.
It's your life. No one can live it for you. You have to live your life, and in doing so make choices.
Yes, you are smart and talented boys and you will probably make good choices in your lives. But......I want you to think of my story and understand two things:
1. You have a guide! Two guides, actually. Your mother and I are with you for that very purpose - to be your guides in life. Given that role by God, and by law. No one is better suited for that role. No one on this planet loves you two boys as much as your Mother and I. No one wants more to guide you.
I want you to understand one simple fact. We - your guides - have been down the road of life before you. We know what hazards are in your path. We are capable of guiding you safely, if you seek our guidance and listen to it. We know a lot about the way through the mountains.
2. You have a map! It's the Bible. It has the path marked out for you for a life that handles the challenges. Don't keep it tucked away, but on the seat next to you and refer to it often.
It's your life. Live it. Make choices. And don't be afraid of the hazards. Just know that you have a guide and a map to get you through.
I'll be home soon. :)