The following prayer is attributed to General Douglas MacArthur. As I read it, I can't help but wonder: if an earthly father can have such a magnificent vision for his fallible son, how much beyond human comprehension the vision of the Creator of all fathers. May His bright land expanding before our sons be ever the subject of their gaze!
A Father's Prayer
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; a son who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son, whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee-and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not under the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand in the storm; here let him learn to feel compassion for those who fail, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach for the future yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility so he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength.
Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."