My son Carson, who many say favors me, turns 19 today. Ah, 19.
I do see myself in him in a few ways: in his smile, in some of his mannerisms, in his creativity, and in his public speaking.
Then he possesses many traits that I can only pray to God to one day obtain: an unwavering confidence, uncompromised ethics and a maturity that does not match his age. Maybe those traits came from his mother!
And then there are those attributes that I can only envy. After all, he is 19. His entire life is before him. There is so much hope and promise. A clean slate of adulthood awaits him. He has yet to burn a bridge, amass debts, disappoint loved ones and make costly mistakes.
Ah, 19. If I only knew then what I know now. If I could only go back. Do some things over. Make some different choices.
When Jesus suggested to Nicodemus that he could be born anew, Nicodemus asked if he could physically go back. Although he was being sarcastic, perhaps he was thinking about being 19 again.
Jesus responded by saying something like: “If you are born of the Spirit, the Spirit will make you anew in ways that you’ve never imagined!” John 3:1-10 NRSV
Nicodemus could not physically go back, but he could spiritually go forward, anew, enveloped in grace.
With faith in this Spirit, maybe I favor my 19-year-old son more than I thought. With faith, perhaps we all do.