The Circle of Life…

My father spent quite a bit of time with me, teaching me and imploring me to behave when I was a small boy. He did the same thing with my two brothers. Of course, as the oldest, I had my own ideas but, on balance, I was a pretty good kid… Sure, I did some stuff wrong and pushed the envelope once in a while but when all the dust settled, my father knew that he could depend on me to “tow the company line.” In other words, I got it! – well, at least eventually.

And Janet – well, I don’t think a better child ever existed. She never gave her parents any heartache and even well into our married life, her parents affirmed her obedience and good nature as a child. I have witnessed that behavior first hand and I have never known three sisters to get along as well as Janet and her sisters do. It’s downright remarkable.

If course, as we aged, and became parents ourselves, we tried to pass on the lessons of our parents. I am sure that I am prejudiced, but I don’t think our kids responded as well as Janet and I did when we were raised. Sure, we have heard all the excuses from the kids – “life is more difficult now” or “you don’t understand me” or some other drivel that made excuses for why they deserve more grace than we did when we were kids. Throughout the years, Janet has wondered aloud about our children and why we seemed to have more trouble than our parents had with us… Undoubtedly, it is a matter of perspective.

So now, our own children are grown and we are almost experiencing a sense of glee as we watch our kids wrestle with their own children, our grandchildren. My Dad used to say that the older he got, the smarter his own father became. Recently, I have been hearing a little of the same mantra from our own children. It is somewhat gratifying to finally watch the circle of life come “full” circle. Watching our children deal with similar issues to those we experienced as parents, and even before that as children, gives us assurance that the more things change, the more they stay the same. My grandfather used to tell me that there is nothing new under the sun, it’s only new to you…

I never realized that this lesson my grandfather taught me was straight from the pages of Scripture. But as I learned more about the Bible and read the book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, presumably the wisest man who ever lived, I read it for myself. And that is our verse for tonight. Solomon tells us, in Eccl. 1:9-10, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.”

My encouragement this evening is that whatever you have experienced in life has probably been experienced by others long before your time. But God, in His infinite wisdom, makes these occurrences for each of us with an intent to teach us and make us better ambassadors for the kingdom. My prayer is that you will experience grace from those who may be frustrated with your position and furthermore, that you may extend grace to those who are under your care and are testing the limits of your patience! Sooner or later it will all come full circle! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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