Pray, Teach, Pray…In that Order
Greetings So Fyh readers and subscribers, how many of you can remember your 3 rules of driving when coming to a stop sign? I remember it going something like this…’when you come to a stop sign, look left, right and leftagain.” Does that sound familiar? Did I bring back to your remembrance does scary days of learning how to drive for the first time?
I’m sure I did for most of you, but now that we are skilled drivers, we’ve learned how to drive in the snow, on icy roads, during a thunderstorm, over long narrow bridges, down steep mountain roads and we were never taught this…we learned it along the way.
It’s just not feasible or generally a good idea to wait until the first ice storm and get a bunch on 15 year old behind the wheel of a car to “see how they do”. But yet, we sometimes have the misconception that we are supposed to be expert drivers simply because we’ve been driving for years.
I had a conversation with my little brother who is a Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp last week when the Southern United States was hit with bitterly cold temperatures that crippled many Southern Cities, like Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, even some areas of Northern Florida. He said to me that they have about 30 Thousand Service Men & Women stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Many of them are just 18 and 19 years old and we as an American People put our trust in them to help defend our Country. He went on to say that many are from Southern states like Louisiana where our family is from and have never experienced the type of weather that they frequently get in Jacksonville, NC, so a southern young man or woman being stationed in Jacksonville, NC for their first winter is asked to get out and drive a $100,000 Military Humvee over Ice & Snow without question or complaint. The Louisiana Department of Transportation didn’t teach them how to drive on Ice & Snow, but yet, here they are, getting behind the wheel and driving. Leaning on nothing but their trust in Jesus and remembering their basic training learned in Driver’s Education.
King Solomon, the son of David, penned this Proverb “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (22.6 KJV) The verb translated "train" (chanak) means, first, "to put something into the mouth," "to give to be tasted," as nurses give to infants food which they have masticated in order to prepare it for their nurslings; thence it comes to signify "to give elementary instruction," "to imbue," "to train." The Hebrew literally is,Initiate a child in accordance with his way.
You see, it is important to note that even though we as responsible adults (should be) are responsible for the conception, birthing, nursing, nurturing, teaching and training up our children. There will come a time when he or she will have to take out on their own, or as the old folk use to say, “every pot has to sit on its own bottom”. When that time comes, we can only Pray that what we have Taught them is a sufficient foundation on which to build their own lives and then Pray again that God keeps them in his care when we are apart one from another.
This is how God always intended it to be, the Shema Prayer is a prayer that was used by the Jewish people. (See Deuteronomy Chapter 6) The Shema is a declaration of faith, a pledge of allegiance to One God. It is said upon arising in the morning and upon going to sleep at night. It is said when praising God and when beseeching Him. It is the first prayer that a Jewish child is taught to say. It is the last words a Jew says prior to death. The Torah records Moses including the Shema in his farewell address to the Jewish people. The Shema is so important to the Jewish people that it is affixed to the doorpost of their homes. But when that child leaves the comforts of his/her Father and Mother, the parents can only pray that what they taught their child will sustain him/her in their daily lives.
So what about the Non-Jews? What is our Shema? What is our tradition? King Solomon was said to be a Wise King (1 Chronicles 1:12) and this wisdom given him by God is made manifest for all of us through the reading of the Poetic Proverbs Book often called the “Book of Wisdom”. Solomon gives us all wise advice to raise our children in the fear and reverence of the Lord so when they take out on their own, away from the comfortable confines of their Father and Mother’s home, they will remember the trainings and know that when their earthly Father is not present, their Heavenly father is always present, even when you can’t see Him. All you have to do is Pray.