Janet and I always keep an eye out for causes that we care about. We help children’s hospitals, school programs, fighting poverty, scouts and a host of other programs that are near and dear to us. About a week ago, I was approached by a very young cub scout who was camped with his father outside the local Cabela’s store where I had just purchased some supplies for my smoker.
Honestly, since Janet and I had already contributed to a variety of causes recently, and we didn’t need the popcorn, I had a short, nice conversation with the very young cub scout and politely declined to purchase any product. Of course I let him know that I had been a cub scout and that my mother had also been a den mother when we were just starting out in scouting.
This young boy couldn’t have been more than seven years old, at the most, and he was one of the most polite (and cutest) kids I have come across. To be sure, he was a breath of fresh air and his Dad sat behind the table – letting his son engage potential customers as they came out of Cabela’s. I admired his pitch and he was so upbeat! Nothing was going to get his spirit down!
After I declined his offer to purchase popcorn, and had moved a step away, the young man once again addressed me – “Sir, we also accept donations!” I almost broke out laughing. The boy was so sincere and so intent on working as hard as he could that I admit I was touched by his authenticity.
I reached into my pocket, gave a cash donation to the cause and still declined the offer of popcorn, much to his dismay. We talked several more minutes and I suggested that when he saw someone who looked like he needed a kindness, he was to give the popcorn to that person instead. He liked the idea and replied, “I can do that!”
I congratulated his father on a job well done. Not only did the youngster convince me to donate to scouts, he didn’t give up on me. He was exactly what scouting is all about. I am so glad that I stopped and spoke with him. I wish that I had taken a picture with him!
Anyway, his father and I spoke for a few minutes before I continued on with my day. It was clear that politeness, kindness and care for other people were lessons that this scout had already started to learn about and put into practice.
Our verse for tonight is one you have heard many times, but so appropriate for the situation. Solomon, the author of Proverbs, containing words of wisdom, tells us in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
My encouragement this evening is that God loves it when we teach and invest in our children. Children were very important to Jesus and they have been entrusted to our care during their formative years. My prayer is that we will always look for opportunities to help our future leaders grow in their faith, their ambition and their service to their communities. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…