Tomorrow night, my youngest of five graduates from Norman High School. At 18 and impressed with his own presence, there was a time I didn’t think he’d make it. And yet, here he is.
While I won’t go into the whole backstory, I will simply share that two years ago he faced his demons . Drugs,alcohol and teenage rebellion had led him to a dark spot, one which I feared he might not return from. Encarcarated by my wishes in the Childrens Recovery Center in Norman, not once, but three times, he was looking at a dark future.
It wasn’t until a scout from Oklahoma State’s track and field program approached him last spring and challenged him. He gave him hope. A glimmer but hope nonetheless. And hope was all it took.
The kid who had determined he didn’t have much of a future, let alone that he’d ever make it to college, started doing his classwork and trained like it was his final day. And when the “Welcome to the Cowboy Family” card came, so, too, did the celebration.
He faced great obstacles, albeit obstacles of his own choosing. But he persevered. Hope showed him the way.
Marcus Aurelius writes, “Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accomodate and adaptt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting…The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
My son graduates tomorrow and heads to OSU a changed young man, not because of any special favors or great assistance, but rather because he latched on to hope, faced his obstacles and adapted. This is a lesson that goes with him for the rest of his life.