Flight Paths – Dene Ward

Flight Paths – Dene Ward

Teach Your Children – Flight Paths

That You May Teach Your Children…1


The one and only time I went to the Florida College Summer Camp was when I was 8.  It was held on campus and I had the first floor dorm room in Sutton Hall that looks out toward what I knew later as Upper Division Dorm.

The last night of camp, when all the parents came to pick us up, the counselors staged a “Bible Bee.”  We all stood in a circle, beginning with the youngest on to the oldest.  Someone asked Bible questions around the circle and if you missed the question you sat down.  After about 30 minutes there were five of us left—me, all alone on the “kiddy” side of the nearly depleted circle, and, on the other side, 4 teenagers who looked as big as adults to me.

I only remember one question.  I was flabbergasted when a 16 year old could not answer, “Who was thrown into the lion’s den?”  The question came to me next, and I actually felt embarrassed for the boy when I answered, “Daniel.”  That was as far as I got.  You would think I would remember the question that did me in, but I don’t.  I do remember that I could hardly comprehend what was being asked, so it must have been a doozy.

Eventually, one of the older teenagers won the bee, and I could not understand why so many people came up to me saying how impressed they were.  Except for that last question they were all so easy.  You see, it had absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with my parents.

My sister and I were raised knowing the importance of Bible knowledge.  My mother was a first generation Christian and back then did not have the teaching resources I had available when I was raising my children.  But judging by that “bee,” she and my father, who was only second generation himself, did a much better job of teaching than most who had more advantages.  They answered all the questions we asked, helped us when we needed it, and made sure we did our Bible lessons. They bought us a big beautiful Bible story book.  I did not realize then how expensive it was, but now I can look back and appreciate how lavishly they spent on us and why, especially given our un-lavish lifestyle.  They even allowed us to stay up 15 minutes late so we could read it every night, and later our own Bibles, before bed.  That certainly instilled its importance to me.  Because of their diligence, I cannot understand parents who allow their children—no matter how old they are–to get in the car on Sunday morning without checking to see that they have their lesson books and their Bibles, and without making sure the lessons were done the night before.

Something just as important–I always saw my parents doing their own lessons, whether it involved doing a workbook or reading a passage of scripture.  Their Bibles and class materials always had a special place on the shelf by the carport door.  If it was not there, they were studying, or they were at class.  None of this “I forgot” business.  And they talked about the scriptures on days other than Sunday and Wednesday.  We grew up knowing that you were supposed to think about these things every day.

That is how I did so well at the Summer Camp Bible Bee.  Like I said, it really had nothing at all to do with me.

…having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded in you also. 2 Tim 1:5

Dene Ward

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