Encouragement to Students

Perhaps you have heard the expression, "He is going to set the world on fire." Teachers sometimes say this about a student who is a very hard worker, quick to learn; one who progresses far ahead of his classmates. This year in school, you may read about men and women in history, who did indeed accomplish great things and who changed the course of history. The noble deeds of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Clara Barton have inspired many to try to accomplish great things. But we need to remember that most of us in our lifetimes will not be great flaming torches which will "set the world on fire," so to speak.

The Indian Who Showed Kindness: Many years ago the story is told of an Indian named Squanto who came out of the woods and found a small colony of white men – the Pilgrims who had survived the first winter after landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Had he been a man who nursed grudges, he might have faded silently into the forest until he gathered enough braves to sneak back and wipe out the palefaces. Squanto had reason to hate white men because many years ago a greedy British sea captain had captured and sold him into slavery in Spain. Later, he escaped to England. Here a kind man befriended him and helped him to find a ship to take him back to America. This kind deed planted the seed of love again in Squanto’s heart so that he chose to remember the good rather than the evil by helping the Pilgrims as long as he lived.

Changing The Course Of History: Think for a few moments how different America and history may have been if Squanto had fought against and destroyed the early Pilgrims. If this had happened, think of the cause that would have been behind it,– the greed of a British sea captain. But since Squanto was a friend to the Pilgrims, think of the never-ending influence for good that was set in motion when some unknown kind man befriended Squanto who in turn befriended the Pilgrims. Never forget that one lone candle that is burning brightly can change history. Even if it doesn’t change history, helping one in need is worthwhile. Strive for great accomplishments, but never spurn small things. It takes small things to make large things and "little is big when God is in it." There is a hymn which says:

Jesus bids us shine with a pure clear light, Like a little candle burning in the night, In the world is darkness, so we must shine, You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Lighting A Candle Where You Are: The Lord has spared you to begin a new school year. May you do so looking unto Him from whom all your help must come. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Seek to serve the Lord by being "a little candle burning in the night" for this is the kind of boy or girl that Jesus wants you to be. You won’t know of course, but by being that, you will make the world in which you live a brighter, happier place. Your friends will feel, when you are near, "as if another candle had been lighted." If you are the right sort of candle, you will be like Moses who "wist not that his face shone."