Celebrating Jarrett

Last month (April 2021) was a landmark occasion in the Persad home as Jarrett graduated from the University of Guelph, with a Bachelors Degree in Bio-Resource Management.  
Over these years my wife and I have been careful to celebrate character over achievement. Good character travels and is revealed in every circumstance. Achievement is subjective, and can be based on sliding scales and opinions. Achievement without the integrity of good character is hollow. Integrity without achievement still brings contentment. When both occur; it should be noted and even celebrated. 

Therefore we celebrate the culmination of a process that saw him finish three years later than the rest of his graduating Grade 12 class (an extra semester in high school, a year of mission work and an 18 month internship), but right on time for all that the Lord has yet in store for him.

In fact he’s always been right on time.  He was born on the day we were told to expect him and he’s been consistently dependable ever since. 

He is a constant churning of thought, who demonstrates loyalty and love through proximity and practical means.  He is a gifted musician, with a capacity to feel the music and make a group sound better.  He has a yearning for justice and right that causes him unrest in the present, and propels him to see God’s truth lived more than discussed.

At times (too often, in his opinion), it’s taken a deep measure of perseverance to be dependable and responsible for the people and circumstances that have helped define him.  However, it is there that we, as parents, not only celebrate what has been accomplished but we also see the evidence of what is yet possible.  

To use environmental lingo: deep roots, developed in times of scarcity, provide the strength and structure from which great growth is possible.    

As he prepares to set out on his own, I take a few moments to share two of many pictures that capture the journey:

This first one is when he started in Grade One.  He’s sitting for the picture, reluctantly, and he is heading off to school…again, reluctantly.  This scene would repeat itself over the next 18 years or so.  And yet, he would persevere every year, under every circumstance, and he would excel, to honour the Lord and his parents, while respecting his teachers.  Jarrett is calculated in his choices and faithful in his affections. 

The second picture is one we call “Dirt Bike Dude (pronounced Dudee)”:  it was taken at Fairhavens campground, in Beaverton, ON.  They had a dirt track and he had a new bike.  One problem. There was this hill in the track.  Throughout much of our camp week, each time he tried to get up the hill, he didn’t have the momentum to make it over.  Time after time, he fell…he cried…but he never gave up…then came the last time, when covered in dust, with mud streaked tears running down his face, he finally made it over that hill!  

I’ll never forget it…and it remains true…this is who he is…it’s a God-given warrior mentality and it’s rare; it’s strength and determination that is undeterred by the size of the challenge or the voices of those who say it can’t be done.  He’ll take his time, think it through, keep at it, until he can…

He has more smarts and determination than I ever did at his age…and he’s also been growing in his ability to trust in the character and life of Jesus within him.

So whether it’s school, braces, recovering from a shattered leg, or (coming soon) marriage :) … he’ll figure it out, help the people around to be better…the Lord as His helper…and we’ll be there to cheer him along!

We give thanks to the Lord for entrusting him to us for these and years, and to those who have invested in, taught, helped and mentored Jarrett. 

Thanks for celebrating Jarrett with us! Join us in praying this prayer for him, as God leads him forward: 

Philippians 1:9-11