Yesterday my nephew celebrated his birthday. I have two nephews who are great little boys, which is great credit to their parents. So as I thought about my nephew turning a particularly critical age in his childhood development I wanted to put something down in writing to mark the occasion.
To My Nephew:
Hail sir. It is a great pleasure to know you have made it to this age, God really has been gracious to us for keeping you alive.
First of all, let me tell you, this age is brilliant. It’s an excellent age reach. You obviously have a lot going for you in terms of qualities and skills, whatever others tell you, this is an age for you to truly richly enjoy. A lot of that will be down to you taking easy when you get upset because things don’t go your way. Things won’t go your way – that will happen often – but there’s a skill in accepting it and moving onto the next thing. I know you will get a hold of this skill and excel in it at this age.
Also my dear nephew a word about games. Love games. Really. Get involved in them, get caught up in them, look to do your best in them. Also be someone who plays to win. No point in playing if you’re not going to win. But also know that you’re not always going to win – even when you play your younger sister. So get used to that from now, but always play to win. That should help you out later on when you get to set targets for yourself. It’s not about beating others, it’s just about winning and you will know what it’s like to win.
I am so glad you have taken having a relationship with God very seriously at your age. It is something I know you understand enough and I encourage wholeheartedly to explore that more and more through the wide variety of ways available for you to do that. Remember that the more you think you know is the more you know that there is more to know, so never be satisfied with what you know. Never think that this is enough to know. Always have a huge appetite to know God in every aspect of your life – this will help you tremendously.
Finally my nephew, more than ever, it’s important to know that you are loved. This knowledge outweighs every other issue in your life. You can have fun in your life, because you are loved. You can make mistakes and cry and then stop crying because you are loved. You can watch your favourite TV programme and not let it overwhelm you because you are loved. You can get into an argument with a friend at school, get upset about it, talk to someone about it and then get over it, because you are loved. You can impress your teachers at school with your behaviour and level of attainment because you are loved. You can see that there is more to life than even your school, because you are loved. Profoundly, deeply, tenderly, courageously, mercifully, graciously, compassionately, patiently, fruitfully, capably, competently, terrifically, excellently, splendidly, brilliantly, marvelously, gloriously loved. When nothing else can help, love can lift you. So I encourage you my nephew to embrace this love, grow in this love, learn to share this love and delight yourself in this love. You can do it, my nephew, I know you can and hope you will.
Thanks for being a part of my life. Thanks for blessing me every time I hear from you as you pray for me and my family. Thanks for being such a great nephew as well as a great son and brother. Long may you continue to be so.
Love you much, my young man.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden