Letter to grandson

I am very pleased to offer you what I believe to be your first written communication.

Dear Bowen,

I am very pleased to offer you what I believe to be your first written communication.

This effort seems on the one hand to be a pointless exercise as you are only one day old and are blissfully unencumbered by the limitations and frustrations of human language. On the other hand the demands that time will impose on you shall, in the very near future, require that you cultivate some skill in this discipline.

Over the last three years I have come to know your brother Hunter very well. He is developing what our entire family hoped for and look forward to seeing in you; “character and integrity”. You will hear people compliment you on your rugged good looks and manly charm (genetic attributes from the grandfathers on both sides of your family). Grandson, the people offering those complements may be speaking the truth but the heritage we all desire to see most is that which you get from your heavenly father.

Do not resist His influences in your life. He offers guidance and wholesome discipline every step of the way. Your Dad and Mom, brother and cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents will all try their very best to help you along life’s path but I will guarantee we will frequently fail you because that is our nature.

As days turn into years and entropy exerts its monotonous influence, you will have ample opportunity to blame the entire population of the world for your ailments and frustrations.

This seems a harsh message for you but because I love you I will quote a famous author with whom I sometimes find myself in reluctant agreement. George Bernard Shaw said:

“The true joy of life is to be used up for a purpose identified by yourself as a mighty one, a force of nature, not some whining snivelling little clot of ailments and grievances constantly complaining that the world has not devoted itself to making you happy”.

People will encourage you to seek three things for yourself; liberty, freedom and happiness. I have found in my 63 years that this undertaking is defined with some clarity in the words of another author,

“Liberty, like freedom and happiness is illusory and its pursuit is merely a form of genteel vanity. It is inspired by ego, promoted by self-deceit and terminates in chaos and disappointment. Only those efforts that you make on someone else’s behalf and in promotion of their welfare produce lasting benefit. When you act as someone’s benefactor you create an opportunity for God  to exercise elements of his grace on both your beneficiary and yourself.

I encourage you to take to your advantage, with exceeding vigour and optimism, the words of Jesus who said “let the little children come to me for of such is the kingdom of heaven”. Remember this fact all the days of your life; seek him while he may be found because once Christ is your king, you never lose your intended status in His creation.

Your loving grandfather

Don Ahlquist