When I was in high school, I was given a book of poetry. My favorite poem from this anthology would become Kipling's "If," which meant a great deal more to me after reading the biography of a missionary who was killed (and eaten) by the very people he was trying to help somewhere in Micronesia. This was also his favorite poem, and "If" helped him overcome obstacle after obstacle in his life, until one day he finally did become that true man, as the poem full of condition precedents predicts.
Today, on Father's Day 2009, I offer this to my sons, and wish them well on their journey into "if's" and "doubting's" and "becoming's." I tore this out of that thin little book 20+ years ago and have kept it with me since on every desk I've owned.
Happy Father's Day to all of you as well who share this Sisyphean yet wonderful burden and blessing.