"Just the Turn of a Page"

By David Engelsma

"Time passes so quickly," people say. We look at our calendars and wonder where the weeks of summer vacation have gone. We look at our children and wonder where the years have gone. When we look at ourselves in a mirror we may have similar thoughts. As we become older, we think more and more often of the "good old days," when, in general, life seemed simpler - when values in our communities were clear and there was a basic understanding of good and evil... right and wrong. What a drastic change has occurred in only a brief time. In just one generation, we have seen a dramatic shift in our nation away from moral absolutes to the shifting sands of relativism, where right and wrong are in the eye of the beholder.

The Bible provides a vivid illustration of this in just the turn of a page. The book of Joshua states that Israel "served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders ... which had known all the works of the Lord, that He had done for Israel" (Joshua 24:31). Yet just one page later in the book of Judges we read, "And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord nor yet the works which He had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10b).

The Psalmist states our task as parents so clearly, "... that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments" (Psalm 78:6&7). Time passes by so quickly and our children remain children for such a short time, Those truly, teachable times when our children are impressionable, moldable and are forming the habits and character that must serve them for a lifetime, pass by so quickly. "As the twig is bent so grows the tree." What a sobering reminder not to neglect that which has been committed to our trust - the daily instruction of our children in the Word of the Lord.

It has only taken one generation that has forsaken God, to change the moral focus of our nation to one that has forgotten God. It doesn’t take long, does it? Just the turn of a page.

May we, who have entrusted our children and/or dedicated our teaching, our careers, to Christian education, give humble thanks unto Almighty God that our schools may assist parents and churches in this "work of remembrance" as we begin together a new school year.. Let us seek grace to be faithful to our calling and may the instruction of our children be blessed unto "repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:2lb).