About 20 hours ago, Sofia, my fifth child, was born.
I reflexively look for the leadership lessons in everyday situations. I labeled this “Part I” because I intend to draw additional, objective lessons from this experience later, but at this point, I could not focus on more than a few simple concepts.
When my first child was born, the overwhelming lesson was unconditional love. For the first time, I really understood how God could unconditionally love me because of the love I felt for my daughter, Gracie.
With the birth of Sofia, I was struck by three powerful realities:
1. I marvel at the design of life. Everything about this process is incredible–the system, the outcome, participation in new life. It is overwhelming. As I hold my child, the reality of intelligent design speaks louder than any intellectual argument possibly could.
2. I am grateful. I am grateful that my child is healthy. I am grateful for my wife who endured so much in her pregnancy and labor. I am grateful for the perspective it has given me because I am beginning to actually feel the unmerited favor that is grace. I have intellectually understood it before, but I now understand it experientially.
3. I am aware of awesome responsibility. It is a privilege to be entrusted with leading this little human being. I now have 20 years of hard work ahead of me to teach her truth and lead her toward that which is right. Our lives will always be connected, though our relationship will pass through many different stages as she grows and takes on more responsibility. I know time will pass by quickly.
I would say more here, but I can’t seem to focus on more than these few important points.
It may be that I just need more sleep. Or, it may be that what really matters is how we experience the truth.
What has your experience been?
-Darin Gerdes, Ph.D.
November 20, 2012
Dr. Gerdes is the Director of the MBA Program at Charleston Southern University