As my second son was born, he reminded me of what it truly means to be a father.

danielle-macinnes-49772
Danielle MacInnes

My son took me by surprise. I thought I knew everything by now, he was second after all, but first look into his eyes changed everything in an instant.

It was like gazing into infinity.

Here I was again, looking at the world through the eyes of a newborn, in an absolute awe and with an absolute love.

I remember now, that to be a father means to have a heart beating in someone else’s chest.

To be a father means to love so much that it hurts.

To be a father means to live your life, as if you are in a constant spotlight – and the audience are those who you love the most.

To be a father means to willingly step down from a main role in life’s journey, handle it to your children.

To be father means to carry a sweet yoke for the rest of your life – as you will never cease to care for your children.

To be father means to have black coffee and white nights.

To be a father means, letting your children fall and guide them to learn from their mistakes, because as much as it hurts watching their knees get bruised, you know you it is the only way to get them ready for what’s up ahead.

Because to be a father, means also realisation that you raise your children not for yourself but for the world.

After all, nothing sums better the essence of parenthood as the poem of Kahlil Gibran.

These words ring in my soul, over an over as I stroke my son’s forehead and I dive deep into the depth of his eyes;

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

One time in Dubai a taxi driver tried to convert me to Islam…

And he had no idea what he was getting into…
After long drive to a church and what had to be one of most difficult conversations in his life, he agreed he would start reading Gospel.
I was walking on the thin ice you see. Criticism of Islam is forbidden in United Arab Emirates. I had to tread carefully, so my words would not be treated a an open attack on something that I fundamentally disagreed with.
And I managed to make a deal with that driver.
I promised to read Quran in return, for him opening the Gospels. What my discussion partner didn’t know is that I read parts of Quran before. I also watched lectures of people as far from Christianity as Alan Watts, Ekhart Tolle or Richard Dawkins, even read Crowleys essays and browsed through La Vey’s satanic “bible”.
Why would I do that? Why would I expose my mind to things that could shake, corrupt or simply shatter foundations of my worldview?
Same reason on why a warrior risk losing his teeth on the arena.
Because a true warrior faces challenge wide open.
True warrior, finds strength in exercising his mind, he does not back down from intellectual and spiritual confrontation as he sees an opportunity there to sharpen the sword of his faith.
And there is no greater challenge than facing argumentation that questions the very base of our beliefs. And we the war we wage has a spiritual dimension.
And so, as the taxi driver, explains to me the glory of Allah I smile take a deep breath and engage, so I can tell him about a greater Glory thats out there.  I yield my sword, check my armour and I go forth into the storm.
I have been challenged again. And as many times before, I would make sure it will be for the good.
And in the aftermath, as with every battle, as I grow weary,  I remember to reinvigorate myself with the Truth.  So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let my mind regenerate by focusing it fully on Logos. The One Word. Who not only spoke just the Truth, but is the Truth Himself. And as the minutes pass by, a quote of G.K Chesterton, resonate through my heart. It is a quote that should become a mantra of spiritual warrior:

“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

And in the ever changing universe, with all it’s different people and their countless beliefs, there is nothing more solid than the Truth.