What a moving experience our country had last week. Whether your political preference is Democratic or Republican, it probably still made your heart flutter with patriotism to see the splendor of our nation’s monuments surrounded by its citizens. The inauguration of a new president is a proceeding that is followed by the entire world, as we live in the most rare and blessed county in the world. I am and always will be so proud to be an American!
As the inauguration was coming to a close, three men came to the podium to give benediction prayers. The first man was Rabbi Marvin Hier. Now, I know nothing about this man or his beliefs, but my attention was captured by two specific sentence in his prayer. He said the following:
“As our ancestors planted for us, we must plant for others. While it is not up to us to complete the task, neither are we free to desist from it.”
What a strong statement. He was basically saying those in this country who came before us made the provisions and sacrifices to ensure a better to tomorrow for me and you. Now it is our job to do the same for those who will come after us. He acknowledges that it is not our responsibility to bring the practice of provision, planning and sacrifice to conclusion, but we do not have the right to abstain from this responsibility.
Well , obviously we can not all go to D.C. and run the show, but we can all put this powerful challenge into practice in our own lives. In fact, as Christians, we are commanded to do just what Rabbi Hier instructs.
Train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
God tells us to teach our children. We need to be teaching them the way they should go in every aspect of their lives. They need direction in education, wisdom with decision making, clarity about Christianity, constant reinforcement about self discipline and obedience and so much more.
Our parents planted in us by teaching, instructing and investing time in us and now it is time for us to do that in others; the future generation.
Rabbi Hier’s second sentence is very interesting to me. Let me share it with you again.
“While it is not up to us to complete the task, neither are we free to desist from it.”
I believe that the Rabbi is giving us a warning. He is saying it is not up to the planter to complete the task. When is a planter’s task complete? When he has successfully reaped a harvest. However, the Rabbi is talking about people, not seeds. People who have a free will rather than seeds that naturally yield a crop. Therefore, just because a parent, teacher or elder may train and raise someone correctly and in a Godly fashion, it does not always mean that the one being raised will hold true to the values instilled in him without question. I will always take Proverbs 22:6 just as literal as it is written when it says when he is old, he will not depart from it, but old is the key word. The one being trained may need some time to bloom slowly or chase their own ideas before returning to what they know is right. This is why it is not up to the planter to bring about a harvest. The one being invested in must bring forth the harvest, hence providing seed to plant in someone else.
It is the Circle of Life…..or the Circle of Plants!
Now so far, we have covered quite a mouthful. We are expected to invest, train, instruct, teach and all of these other life consuming tasks with a child while having no guarantee that we will ever see our hard work bear fruit. That can be a frustrating thought and some may want to entertain the idea of staying away from this investing in others idea all together. Unfortunately, that is not an option for us. Rabbi Hier said we are not free to desist from planting. The law of God must be infused into every child’s heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:7
If the adults of this country choose against or just simply refuse to teach the ways of God to the upcoming generation, then they are robbing the future generation of their peace.
All of your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
Peace comes from being taught of the Lord and by the Lord. We clearly see every day that there is a famine among our your people for lack of peace. These young people have not had anyone to plant in their lives. Yes, I am sure that some have had a loved one to invest in them, yet they are currently rebelling against that instruction, but I believe that the vast majority have never had any real instruction.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, your words line up perfectly with the state of out nation, today. So many of our young people have not been taught because someone chose to ignore their task of teaching. Therefore, today’s young people will not have a harvest to produce seed to plant in another generation unless God intervenes.
We must all do our part to end this reckless cycle, if we love our God and our country.
Let’s start 2017 on a high note. Please consider investing in some young people this year. If you are a parent, start really teaching your kids not only about Godly things, but about patriotism, responsibility of one’s country, recycling, volunteering at an animal shelter or soup kitchen, ect. Or maybe just spend some time with your child’s friends. Trust me, their friends will listen to you before they will listen to their own parents! Start coaching a little league team, teaching children’s Sunday school or volunteering with your church’s youth group.
Our future generation is counting on us to plant for them as our parents and grandparents did for us.
Will you take your shovel to the field for them today?
Graphics designed in Canva and Picmonkey