One of the most influential teachers in my life was “Gunny Smith.” I met him one beautiful, sunny fall evening in Newport, RI. He stood as straight and rigid as the flag pole beside him. As new Navy Chaplain recruits, we had no idea what to expect. But, one look at his crisp uniform, brightly shined shoes, short hair, and steady gaze left no doubt in our minds that what we expected didn’t matter. Our lives were in his hands. He knew it. We would soon accept it.
With obvious confidence in his voice, he said, “Gentlemen, I will soon become the most loved and feared person you will ever meet.” He lived up to that statement. He was responsible for teaching us how to live as officers in the Navy and how to survive in combat if necessary. He took his responsibilities seriously.
Solomon took his responsibilities as a father seriously, too. He warned his son to “continually bind God’s laws around his heart, tie them around his neck... so when you walk, they will guide you, when you sleep they will watch over you, and when you awake they will speak to you.” In other words, wherever he was, no matter the time or circumstances, whether night or day, “His law” would be a lamp and light always, and, when necessary, correct and discipline him.
“Gunny” and Solomon knew and accepted their responsibilities with all their heart. They were well aware of the fact that lives depended on their effectiveness to prepare heads and hearts, and shape the conduct and attitude of the “untrained” – children and recruits alike!
Prayer: We pray, Heavenly Father, that we will accept the responsibility and fulfill our obligation to You to train others whom you have entrusted to us to accept Your teachings and walk in Your light. May our “walk” be more obvious than our words, as we seek to honor You in all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 6:21-22 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you.