This morning God kept nudging me with a bit of a different topic for the blog. It is about fellowship and mentoring.
Yesterday my routine was a bit different. I got up at the regular time, and I prayed, and I read a bit, but I had to get ready to go fishing with The Cross-Training youth group by 9:00 so I did not have time to post, but It was so worth it. I got to church a bit before 9:00 as the crowd of kids shuffled in to go fishing at a farm pond that belongs to a member of the church.
It was fun watching the kids as they signed up for the trip and got ready to load up for the short trip to the farm pond. Before we loaded up the vans to make the trip, there was some discussion about the rules, and we all prayed together before we hit the road for the short trip to the farm.
The pond was located a good piece back, so when we got there, the church vans had to be abandoned for a tractor and hay wagon and a few 4-wheel drive trucks to pack people and supplies for fishing.
A Wagon Load
The kids piled into the wagon, and we traveled slowly back to the pond, but instead of the mad dash to the pond at the end of the ride Scott, our youth minister, gave a lesson to the kids. As the resident photographer of the trip, I snapped photos of everyone as they listen to the lesson, and my heart melted a bit as I listened. The kids were engaged and listened. Many were speaking up when Scott asked a question, and these Kids are the preschool to 5th grade.
I cannot help but think of Proverbs 22:6 this morning as I write this Blog this morning.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
There is this tremendous responsibility we have to our children, and we do not always get it right. Sometimes we blow it. But this fundamental teaching is so important, and even if we blow it sometimes, if we keep it in our hearts it will bear fruit, and I got to see a lot of that yesterday. I could not help but think of Isaiah 55:10-12
This passage is one of my many favorites, and it played out yesterday.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:10-12 (ESV)
When children are exposed to the Word of God, it is certain to bear fruit.
Let the Fishing Begin
When Scott had completed his lesson, the kids headed to the Pond. The first thing they had to do was complete some things that Scott had asked them to do, and then they found a spot to fish.
Now, most know that I cannot trek around a lot and a friend got me a chair to use, and I set up on one side of the pond prepared to watch kids fish and take photos. That is where I saw the fruit of the lesson. It was everywhere, and I was so blessed to capture it. I want to share 3 of my favorite.
A Daughters First Fish
There was a young girl and her Dad, and he was helping her cast her line and teaching her the fine points of fishing. But you could see the smiles and the heart of the father working with his daughter and the moment she caught the fish it was difficult to tell who was more excited. It is a memory that they will both share, and it was so precious because God was there. He gave the father patience to work with his daughter, and she trusted him unconditionally.
The photo tells the story better than I could.
A Helping Hand
A bit later I watched a young man; I am not sure how old he is, show love and kindness to another. He was catching fish one after another, and a young man next to him had not caught anything. This young man asked the adult there if it would be ok if the next time he hooked a fish, the younger boy could reel it in. Well, it took about five mins for him to hook a fish and the next thing you know these two kids are working together to pull in this fish.
It reminded me of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
I loved the moment I could capture of those two boys working together, and that leads me to my last story
The last story came from a shot I took across the pond. There was a young man a teenager, sitting with a younger boy. As the younger boy was sitting and fishing the two were smiling and talking. I thought of the times where God tells us of the importance of wise council, but I could not remember the verse this morning. So, I did a Google Search and found Provers 27:9
As I looked at the photo, I thought of this verse and the two boys. One close to manhood and the other so young and my heart smiled as I looked at the two. All I could think as I captured the photo was a mentor and friend relationship and this verse fit.
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. Proverbs 27:9 (ESV)
These were but a few of the joys I witnessed yesterday, and I am sure there were more that I missed, but I ran out of steam and had to go home while I still had the juice to drive.
The thing about the morning that gave me joy was the kindness and love that God let me see. I could not help but think of the passage in Matthew.
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, Matthew 18:2-5 (ESV)
What an awesome opportunity we must teach our children. What an awesome responsibility.
Father, please help me that I might be a good example to the children around me. I pray that I might be an encourager as they grow and Lord humble myself to be like a child when I come to you in Your Word and prayer.
In Jesus name, I pray, Amen