The book I am writing is about a son who lost his dad to cancer when he was five years old. He is left an inheritance in the form of a bulging suitcase. The instructions are that he is to receive it when he finishes his year ten high school. Without giving away all the contents of the suitcase, he discovers in it a number of letters addressed to him as well with 4 of his fathers personal journals.
Through reading along we discover a teenager full of passion, full of zest for life, and who sets out on an adventurous journey to discover who he is, to face his fears and doubts, to reconnect with his father, his mother and friends and in through his journey, he discovers he has grown into a man.
This extract is the rough copy of the 3rd letter that was written to Tim. Let me know your thoughts, feedback and editorial comments. (Note, it is the rough copy and I have not been too worried about the editing of it at the moment. )
Son, I hope and pray that all is going well for you. I’m thinking that my letters could be a shock to you.
You are now five and you are sitting on my knee as I write this letter. I am guessing that when you are reading this, you are now 17 or 18 and I have missed twelve or maybe thirteen years of your life. I wonder if you have gone onto university. Have you taken up an apprenticeship? I wonder if you become a bit of a rat bag like your old man. What about girlfriends. Is there anyone you are serious about? I hope you have not been in trouble with the police. I wonder if you and mum got along ok. How is your mum? How is Uncle Phil and Lisa?
I ask myself all these questions knowing that I will never know the answers. And not knowing them burns me up inside. This is part of the reason why I am writing to you. While I cannot know what is going on with you – I can at least tell you more about myself. This is why I have written these letters and given you my diaries. It’s my hope that through them we can share our life together.
I want to encourage you to become a man who loves knowledge. A man who knows himself. Knows life. Knows people. Knows history. Knows truth. A man who knows his purpose. A man who knows truth. And that you will become a man who knows God.
Don’t get me wrong Tim. I’m not urging you to become an academic. I struggled big time at school and when I went to college to do my carpentry apprenticeship I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. You can ask your uncle Phil and he will agree with me on this.
Tim I want to encourage you no matter what you do in life for work that you work on discovering all there is to know about it. If you dig ditches, become an expert on knowing how to dig ditches and all there is to know about digging ditches. Phil and I had a boss who taught us all there was to know about his business. He taught us to know everything that our clients wanted and to do that, we needed to really get to know our clients as real people. And once we got to know them, we were able to help them discover what it was they wanted and we built exactly that. Phil and I made it our business to know our workers. We didn’t just see them as workers – instead we saw them as family. If they hurt, we hurt. If they had problems, they become our problems
Tim I have come to believe that the Bible is the book of truth. In it you will find all there is to guide you in life. To find your purpose in life. And in it you will discover the secrets of life. Tim I know that people will try to tell you that the Bible is a book of fairy tales. That it is full of contradictions. That it’s not true. That Jesus never existed. I too once believed that the Bible was for weaklings. That God wasn’t real.
But through it I found truth in Jesus. Tim, I can’t make you believe in God. I can’t make you have faith in Christ. I can’t make you believe anything about anything. But, I want to challenge you to find out if Jesus was a liar, a lunatic or who he said he was? C.S Lewis said, Call Jesus a liar, a lunatic or call him who he said he was. But whatever you do, don’t just say he was only a good and moral man because we don’t have that option.
In the first letter I wrote you I encouraged you to become a man of faith. But faith has to be based on truth. It needs to be based on knowledge and so I want to challenge you with a question that my boss challenged me with when I was 21. He asked me all those years ago, if you can prove Jesus is a liar – you are free to think I am a fool for believing in him. If you can prove he was a lunatic again, call me an idiot and you can tell me to shut up.. But then again, if you can’t prove he was those either of those things; that means he is who he said he is. And if that is the case I want you to face the question truthfully as to what this means for you.
Tim, I wonder if you’re still reading along and I haven’t made you fall asleep with my rambling – By the way, you have just fallen asleep on my lap. Your head is cradled against my shoulder and I’m about to try and pick you up and carry you to bed. I don’t know how long it will be till I pass away. The cancer is eating away at me and I could live for a few more weeks or it could be another year – the doctors really don’t know. But, I want you to know, that I love you, like you and am very proud of you my son.