Expectant first time parents, especially fathers, have no idea of what they are getting into. As much I might try to walk them into the experience, give the a sense of the awe, trauma, beauty, fear, and love that will transcend anything they have experienced in their lives so far, there is little that they can grasp in concrete terms. It is as if they can see part of the experience, a piece of their new reality, but not the whole.
The gaps transcend parenthood. I can only imagine driving a formula one car or piloting a fighter jet. Thinking of possibilities brings wonder, fear, and a sense that I am imaging something that has little to do with the waiting experience. Everything is like a newborn; I thought I knew before Carli arrived, I know now that I was totally, completely, and wonderfully clueless.
It is in the recognition that I was wonderfully clueless, eagerly open, and sincerely willing to enter a new journey with my wife and child that I find a hint of what is required of me to experience the unknown. What if I approach every unknown with unbridled openness? What if I saw only possibilities? What if I was willing to move and flow with the moment? Add God and imagine what experiences are there for journey!
It is profoundly sad that I along with others think we know when deciding about the unknown. I find myself “knowing” an experience while missing out on the grandeur, beauty, and awe of its reality. Do I really understand what a relationship with God can be? My honest answer is “no”. I have glimpsed possibilities. I know is that there is so much more that I have yet to taste, see, and do.
There is no need for despair for the invitation remains open to you and me. “You'll eat your fill of good food. You'll be full of praises to your God, the God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Never again will my people be despised.” (Joel 2.26)