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To parents of would-be World Racers

Questions to Ask in 2021
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. …
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:

eric hansonDisappointed, 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?

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