By Scot Thigpen
Written Friday, May 20, 2011
Well, tonight we jump. It’s high school graduation night for our second and last child. I imagine my mixed emotions are shared by a ton of other moms and dads who will watch their kids make this big transition. Lots of reminiscing happens on days like this.
Our son played high school basketball and their team had a great year and overachieved to make it to the state tournament. He fouled out late in the second half and I am sure it was the longest walk of his life back to the bench. It was officially over. For me, it was a long walk as well. As I watched him walk off that court for the last time, my mind went back to all the scratched up knees from driveway ball, all the Upward games at church, all the hours in the gym and weight room, all the summer leagues, all the away games, senior recognition night and the likes. And now it was over. As much as I love sports, I realized that there won’t be any games in the future where I will ever watch my own sons play. Tough moment to say the least. Knowing your son had closed a very meaningful chapter in his life is an emotional moment. But at the end of one chapter comes the beginning of a new chapter. So that’s where we are.
For some reason, I can’t get this other picture out of my mind. It’s a picture of Bowen jumping off a cliff on one of our family summer camping trips in Alabama. The picture takes on new meaning on graduation day. I remember taking the boys to the swimming pool when they were toddlers. The day came when it was finally time to jump. We have all been through that process but I remember it like it was yesterday. I jumped in and held out my arms for him to jump to me. He wiggled and jiggled and squirmed on the very edge of the pool but wasn’t real sure if it was okay to actually jump into the unknown like I was asking him to do. From my perspective, all was well. I loved this boy more than anything in the world. One thing I knew for dead sure, and that is that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to him. From my perspective, I would drown myself before I would let my son drown. So I stood there with all the confidence in the world because I knew he could trust me with his life.
Funny how the roles have kinda reversed today. It’s as if parents are the ones wiggling and jiggling and squirming today as we see our kids on the edge of the unknown. We are about to let our kids do something they have never done before. It’s time for them to go into the unfamiliar waters of college. It’s time again for them to jump.
How comforting to know that they aren’t left alone to jump into the deep end all alone. How comforting to know that the Heavenly Father is the one now who is standing there with his arms open as if to say, you can trust me with your life. If you jump to me, I’m gonna take care of you. I love you more than anything in the world.
So jump son—jump! Jump right into your Heavenly Father’s arms. He is the one who created you. He is the one who has protected you. He is the one who has provided for you. He is the one who has died for you. He is your sustainer, redeemer, savior, and friend. Jump with all the trust in confidence and faith that you can muster. You have nothing to fear. Keep jumping all the rest of your life into his arms. And when your life comes to an end, your Heavenly Father will be on the other side of glory and you will jump one last time into his loving arms and spend the rest of eternity there as His eternal child.
Scot Thigpen is president of The Thigpen Group, a Wealth Advisory Firm in Jackson, MS. He is married to the former Kimberly Inkster and they are parents of two sons and attend Christ United Methodist Church. Contact Scot at firstname.lastname@example.org.