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To parents of would-be World Racers

Craig Hanson reflects on his son Eric’s return from spending a year on the World Race. His initial response was skepticism: Disappointed, this was not going down easy for me. College grads need to get a job. Live in the real world. Face up to responsibilities. Earn a living, pay your ta…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Craig Hanson reflects on his son Eric’s return from spending a year on
the World Race. His initial response was skepticism:

Disappointed, this was
not going down easy for me. College
grads need to get a job. Live in the
real world. Face up to
responsibilities. Earn a living, pay
your taxes. Start your life. Get on with it.

“Eric, you need to go out and
earn your own keep. Don’t expect others
pay for this while you go out and have a great time.”

“Dad, I’ve been praying this past
year about what to do when I graduate.
This really seems to be what the Lord wants me to do. I think this is it.” Respectful but unapologetic, he withstood my
challenge and set his course.

I still wrestled with my own
doubts, not willing give up my ideas for his life so quickly. But my mindset started to shift ever so
slightly. How can I believe that my plans are better for him? What right do I have to think that “a good
job” is the highest and best use of his life?

In coming months, I watched Eric
as he prepared for the World Race. He
planned, worked, saved, prayed. He acted
with maturity and integrity. He earned
my respect; he earned my support. As we
headed to the airport, he was gone far too quickly…and would be gone far too
long.

The cubicle can wait

Nearly a year later, I reflect on
Eric’s journey, our journey together in this.
He has changed; we have changed.
We committed to pray every day for him.
Kathy & I got up each morning early to check the new postings on the
World Race site. “Anything from Eric? Interesting
news from the other Racers?”

We’re proud and grateful for what
we have seen from Eric’s World Race experience.
He’s used his talents; his spiritual gifts have emerged. He’s found his calling. What an advantage to learn early in life what
God has prepared for those who seek him with a heart that says, “Yes,
Lord.” Our son has taught us and blessed
us in this journey. A deep and profound
experience to learn about himself and grow his faith, for this I am
thankful.

Regardless of future choices, I
know Eric has gained valuable life-experience not found in the cubicle of the
safe and sensible job that awaits most graduates. Leadership, teamwork, resourcefulness,
integrity, courage, and sacrifice: are these not qualities we long to see in
our children?

We deeply desire our children to
prosper; nothing wrong with that. But
the Lord has plans for our young men and women that are far greater than we can
imagine.

Give them the gift of freedom to
find themselves, to find their calling.
Let them grab their inheritance as sons and daughters of the Most
High. Let them “go and make disciples.” Let’s actually believe that
graduation speech. Give them your blessing. Your son, your daughter,
with the Lord’s hand
in it, can change the world for many.
Would we hold them back?

Comments (7)

  • yes, Sara – I’ll pray for your parents and your mom in particular. I have a heart for parents and their struggle, being a father of five myself. If you need me to talk to your parents, I’d be happy to do so.

  • Oh Seth – thanks for sharing this. Tears in my eyes – he gets it!

    My parents are getting it too. Mom just blogged some really encouraging words on my India video blog – I am amazed at all God is doing in their hearts.

    Praise God for parents like these!!! (you included!)

  • As a matter of fact, he’s doing great. He wrote a book, got married (to a racer), and moved to Gainesville to continue in ministry. In addition, because of his influence, his father-in-law has started this ministry http://adventures.org/haiti/

    Eric’s become an amazing man in Christ. So much more mature than when I first met him.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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