Sunday, February 8, 2009

Homecoming!!!


Can you believe it one era is ending and another is beginning. Our youngest has returned from a mission. It is one of those classic milestones in life that are celebrated all too briefly as we brace our shoulders to tackle the next obstacle. When the kids were young it was getting out of diapers or buckling their own seat belt that we cheered, now it is graduating from college or getting married. But lest we hurry on to the next major task on life’s to do list, let’s celebrate this latest landmark.

Ours is a missionary family where all have served full time missions or acted like a missionary in the military. In fact all the in-laws have served righteous and honorable missions. Some have even taken it a step further and married someone from their mission. Thus insuring a happy missionary reunion party daily through out their life. Don had the opportunity to participate in two baptisms during boot camp and he is currently taking his girl friend to church and meeting with the missionaries. Nothing could make me happier as a father than to see our family’s treasure and sweat and prayers spend in the effort to bring people to Christ. Thank you all for the incredible examples and righteous choices you have made.

I know it doesn’t guarantee anything, but I firmly believe that having paid the price of missionary service does provide a decidedly better chance of a happy marriage and spiritually healthy grandchildren. There is nothing sweeter in life than the prospect of a glorious union with the one you love and to be surrounded by great kids. Life is not a straight line, it is full of twists and knots that can strangle even the best of intentions for family happiness. A blessed family with spiritual health is worth fighting for and taking the time and money to work out the knots and kinks. It is true that “No success can compensate for failure in the home.”

That is why today I salute Austin’s return from the mission field as he has now completed this most important work. He has grown from dedicating his life to World of Warcraft to serving the Lord. Last night as he hung out with Joe Rutherford (an old WOW buddy) they didn’t talk about their weapons of choice or what level they had obtained with their creature character; Austin challenged him on his life’s choice and what kingdom Joe would like to obtain in the next life. The mission has infused Austin with a sense of time and urgency to be about the important work of being a disciple of Christ.

I must say that after seeing some of Austin’s pictures and videos he had fun out there in true Austin style. It was a jumping, physical, flat out hard working mission, with some time left over for laugher. I can tell he loved the people he served, loved his companions and what they could teach him, and he loved the Lord for all the joy he brings to our life.

Thanks to all of you for your service and thanks at this time to Elder Austin Barrand. I like the chance to put life on pause for a while and celebrate this blessed milestone – our youngest has returned from an honorable mission. Thoughts of college and marriage can wait for another day.

3 comments:

Tracy Barrand said...

Ditto on the sigh of relief and the happiness of the closing of a chapter.

Celeste said...

I'm so grateful that we were raised by great parents that helped us reach those milestones! You have every reason to be proud and happy dad!

b-ryce said...

Great commentary dad. Thats so funny how we get so excited for those little events like potty training when kids are small. And how things change when kids get older and it just ends up almost expected that they will graduate, marry, serve missions, and when they do, it feels wonderful, but then it is time to move on to the next thing. Like worring about the government. :)