At first, I questioned it. Then I was concerned. Now I realize a power that every man has…. You see, I live in a rural community where kids are turned loose to wander all day, the atmosphere is quaint—a “keep-to-yourself” kind of attitude; the kind of world I wish every kid could grow up in, to a degree and up to a point. But in today’s world, those are not my kids—those are my neighbors. And, the childhood they have of drugs, domestic violence, and the neighboring pedophiles—that is not the childhood I had—nor do I wish on my kids! But I am here….
I was in the yard one day picking up walnuts, clearing debris that had nearly fallen onto our car in the driveway. Along comes this eight-year-old kid and asks me, “Can I come over and play?” What I found interesting was that, as a family, we were not “playing” at all, we were simply in the yard, cleaning up—of all things!
Now, we are a protective family unit. I understand that we live in a world that needs “peace makers”. Most times I carry a gun on my hip; I know that the best constant defense for my family is myself—my God-ordained role—and the good Lord himself. But I am also protective on many fronts and analytical of anyone who wants to spend time with my kids (no matter their age). I am protective because I know what is in man, I am watchful because I know that wolves come in all shapes and sizes. Who knows what this kid has witnessed in his little life! (The verbiage I have heard from his mouth tells many stories.) But this kid is different today…. He asked me. He worked side-by-side with us.
The next day I was alone in the yard, working. Again, the kid asks me, “Can I come over to play?” This time there are no kids in the yard, it’s just me. At this point in time, we are headed out of town, and it doesn’t work out…but I finally got his memo! This kid just wants to be with another dude, to be acknowledged and praised. And, I observed, he was hungry for being with a father. I know his homelife: mom lives with a boyfriend that is not concerned with raising a kid–let alone a young man.
I am concerned. I am concerned for the boy, but not nearly as much as I am concerned for those who do not recognize the power and influence they have over developing society! By simply conducting yourself to be a man—teaching your kids to work hard, to play hard, to be respectful and judicious, discerning, and kind—it’s a rarity. Often, I do not do it right myself! But I recognize the power that it can have on a watching world. The real question is: are you aware of the eyes watching you, and do you care enough—to care enough?
I am an unapologetic Christian. I love my God, my family, and my Country—and in that order. Although I will never really “arrive”, I recognize that the biggest changes of society start in the smallest of places; those places the world may consider insignificant! The mode of “Family” starts with conduct and good conduct starts with the “fear of the Lord” and observing his ways. My prayer is that fathers would seek the ancient paths—to see a world of opportunity for a generation that desperately needs direction.
TO BE A GOOD LEADER, YOU MUST ALWAYS BE FOLLOWING. But what will you follow? Follow the ancient paths. The next pilgrim will look for a worn path…don’t let them be confused about which path to take by allowing it to be “overgrown”. Make it clear, take a stand, and be resolved to be aware of your surroundings: the good, the bad, and the ugly. All for God’s glory and our good.