Hello World. For anybody who has started down the path of learning a new programming or scripting language, one of the first undertakings is to output the string of text: “Hello World.” This humble beginning is a starting point to teach us the syntax and basic structure of the program language being used.

At first glance, coding can appear daunting (who am I kidding, it IS daunting). It can be intimidating to look at somebody else’s completed code without understanding how they did it, knowing what the rules are, or taking into consideration how many times they tried and tweaked their code to get it just right…

\\\Good Times

Hello World, is the simplest place to start, the easiest thing to do, the introduction to the programming language…yet, I remember the first time I successfully said, “How do you do?” to the world with Java, HTML, PowerShell, etc. and the feeling of deep accomplishment that swept over me like winning a $.50 stuffed animal from the claw machine after only spending $10 in attempts. I walked away with my head up and my stride wide from accomplishing the insurmountable task. And in the same way, writing the Hello World program made me feel like programming was obtainable; like it was something within reach.

And as I sit in the hospital room looking at my newborn son (Oliver) with his tiny little frame, so innocent and frail, right beside my beautiful wife adorned with her radiant glow that only a mother can have, my mind goes back to this “Hello World” moment. Well, to be completely honest, the baby sack thing that my son is wearing that says “Hello World” definitely helped jog my memory, but let’s not digress…

\\\Unknown Variables

Today is his beginning, his opening statement to the world, his first hello. Someday, he won’t need diapers, or somebody to feed him, or burp time, or pacifiers…he’ll move past writing “Hello World” and he’ll leave his mark on the world. What will he be? What will he do? These are the questions I’m pondering as I watch my wife and son sleep, asking myself what I did to deserve such blessings in life.

  • Will he work with computers like his old man? Will they even have computers in the future?
  • Will he like Arsenal and will he know of players like Thierry Henry? Will they even have soccer in the future??
  • Will he be friendly and kind and love others? Will there even be kindness in the future???
  • Will he live for God? God’s definitely in the future.

My mind shifts to the future in general and to the realization of everything I don’t know….

  • I don’t know what the future holds. I could guess, but will Toys R Us make a comeback?
  • I don’t know what it holds for Information Technology and what technologies we’ll use. Probably robots because it’s the future, but will we move from using Windows to using Doors?
  • I don’t know if Arsenal will ever win the league again. It’s been a rough few years even though 2003/2004 was invincible!

\\\Incomplete Code

And after reluctantly accepting these uncertainties and unknowns, I arrive at the conclusion that I don’t know the exact future my son will have with every detail accounted for. I don’t have life mapped out and I can’t see every event in his future. But right now, I can see the beginning. I have the important responsibility to help shape him and raise him, but I have to trust God with the process and the details.

For now, I’ll be content with watching over him as he sleeps, seeing a mere glimpse of his potential with his first human code: Hello World!


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