Train up a child in the way he should go
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.” – Ecclesiastes 12:1
I was led to write on this very relevant text as today ends another milestone in the story of my life. Tomorrow, God’s willing, I continue along life’s road. I had my photograph taken when I became one year old. The photo shows just about three sprigs of hair atop my head and I’m holding a leaf from a plant. Believe me when I say that I remember the photographer giving me that leaf so that I would pay attention to him.
I remember nothing of my life after that until I was at the top of Grant’s Town Hill on the tow bar of my father’s bicycle as he walked and was just about to turn into Meeting Street. He turned into Hospital Lane north and I saw a lot of little children in a yard playing. I noticed that the wooden building was painted dark brown and the boys were wearing brown short pants and yellow shirts. Then my father stopped in front of a house where a man and woman and maybe two little children were on the porch. He told them that he was taking Ruby Ann to school. Then, he rode further on and came to a fence with a wooden gate and steps that looked like I was going down into a deep cave. He spoke to the lady with grey hair and said, “Mrs. Wright, I am bringing Ruby Ann to school.”
Over the years when I would tell my father about this whole story of how I got to know him on the top of Grant’s Town Hill, he would say in amazement, “You were only two!”
A child’s upbringing and environment plays a major part in the shaping of their lives. Someone said that a person is a product of their environment. Every day I give God thanks for my upbringing and the positive environment in which I grew up. That is why I can identify with the wise words from King Solomon.
At the age of six, my father was down in the dumps as a lady declined to be his organist in his Church. She said that she could not worship in a church with rough wooden benches as it would snag her lace dress. My father wrote in chalk on the partition of our home, “Learn music in 90 days.” I was only six, but at 10 years of age I was the organist up until this very day.
It is fine and dandy to want to give children all the amenities that one would think go along for a happy childhood, but being taught from an early age the grace of God, and the plan of salvation that comes through Jesus Christ, is the greatest gift of all.
Yes, King Solomon, my life has had many twists, turns, potholes and even sink holes, disappointments, hardships; you name it and I can claim it, but today I am giving God thanks and glory because I came to know that at an early age, I accepted God as my heavenly father, Jesus Christ as my savior and the Holy Ghost as my comforter.
So many of our young people are experiencing difficult times and situations that even led to death and destruction, all because they were not led in the paths of righteousness. Many parents place emphasis on material possessions and name brand clothing and footwear, gadgets and toys rather than training up the children in the ways they should go. How many children on a Sunday or sabbath are roaming about without thought of going to church, and go through life with the absence of God in their lives?
So why panic when crime is the order of the day and the future of so many of our youth is found sadly lacking in the scales of opportunity and advancement?
Our constitution speaks to us as a people being a Christian or a Christ-like nation; but where are we today? Are we by example admonishing our youth to remember the Creator while they are young so that when the storm of life comes, they will have a port of safety? Are you aware that youth is like sunrise – it doesn’t last very long. After sunrise, it is the penetrating heat, sweat and toil of a day.
Yes, Ecclesiastes 12:1 says it all – 12 is the age of accountability and 12 is the number of words that are found in the book of our text and, yes, 12 are the months of a year. So, what are you doing about your 12?
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