It is Saturday afternoon and I just watched a football game in which my grandson’s team blew-out their opposition: University of Northwestern 49—McMurray/Jacksonville, IL 13.
I didn’t go to the game but I watched it streamed on my computer and that is just one of the blessings I enjoy today by being progressive and making considerable effort when I really hated being dragged by my kids into the computer age. I typed my college and seminary papers and for nearly forty years I typed out my Sermon outlines on my trusty Underwood upright typewriter, after learning to type while in the Air Force.
In 1990 my kids gave me no choice, teaming up with my wife, and they insisted I buy a Word Processor while we were visiting in Minneapolis. That began a costly road, but once started there was no going back. Many times I found this new life confusing and terribly frustrating, but the rewards have been far greater, and I would be most foolish of all men today were I to try to go back to my trusty Underwood Typewriter.
Such is much of life. A story from the life of Colerdge tells of a friend who looked at the poet’s weed-filled garden, and said to him, “Why don’t you dig up those weeds and plant flowers?” The beloved poet allegedly replied, “I don’t want to prejudice the garden in favor of flowers. We just let it grow up as it is.”
That may sound strange to you, but I well remember the young mother who brought her children to our church years ago. She came from a more liberally oriented denomination and she was soon to depart from us and meet her husband in Japan, where he was stationed with the Air Force. She eagerly shared how she planned to take her children and visit the scenic places and historical sites while there and one of her major objectives would include exposing her children to all the great religions of the world.
When I quizzed her further, she informed me that she planned to then let them choose for themselves which religion they would follow. Like Coleridge, she planned to let the flowers and the weeds in her garden grow up together, without influencing them via cultivation.
That’s an interesting perspective and sounds so idealistic, but it is highly risky as some parents find out in today’s world when their children become terrorists et al. Unfortunately, if ou do not guide your children churchward, Christward, Godward, and heavenward, YOU WILL BE THE ONLY ONE WHO IS NOT INFLUENCING THEM. The world will have its influence. The unbeliever will have his influence. The criminal element will have its influence; as will the drug pusher, the pimp, the procurer, the bookie, the chisler.
They will all have their degree of influence upon your child however much, or how little, you influence your child! Unfortunately, the streets of our cities offer no diplomas and confer no degrees, but they educate with exacting precision. The nation’s only hope today lies in the Godly nurture and admonition of the children under the loving and endearing hands of their parents.
And if you think they are not hearing, you had best pay closer attention. When my daughter was but 2-3 years old we lived in a place where we listened to a radio station on the Mexican border. Every week we tuned in and listened to W. Dale Oldham on “The Christian Brotherhood Hour.” That same summer we drove north to attend our North American Convention. One day, we stood a short distance from a group of visiting preachers, whom we recognized on sight. While they conversed among themselves, our little daughter suddenly bolted across the grounds toward those visiting preachers, loudly exclaiming, “That’s my Dr. Oldham”!
Dr. Dale turned toward us to see what was happening and saw her running full tilt toward him. He opened his arms and scooped her up as she catapulted herself into his arms. She had heard a familiar voice coming from a stranger she had never seen, but it was a welcome voice she knew from home 1700 miles away and she knew it was right and friendly and safe. Needless to say, he stood there and wept
Tomorrow is church day and that brings me to a verse I encountered somewhere in my past:
You asked me why I go to church;
I give my mind a careful search.
Because I need to breathe the air
Where there is an atmosphere of prayer.
I need the hymns that churches sing;
They set my faith and hope on wing.
They keep old truths and memory green,
Reveal the work of things unseen.
Because my boy is watching me
To know whatever he can see
That tells him what his father thinks.
And with his eager soul he drinks
The things I do in daily walks,
The things I say in daily talks.
If I with him the church will share,
My son will make his friendships there.
Every child has a right to a dad and mother who love each other and who share their very best with their children. This is Warner’s World and I am