By Keith Kimball – Age 15
“As arrows in the hands of a mighty man; so are children of youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalms 127:4,5).
“The Christian home … forms the citizen, lays the foundation for civil and political character, prepares the social element and taste, and determines our national prosperity or adversity. We owe to the family, therefore, to what we are as a nation as well as individuals. We trace this influence in the pulpit, on the rostrum, in the press, in our civil and political institutions. It is written upon the scroll of our national glory.”
– Rev. S. Philips, 1859
THE TRUTH OF SUCH A STATEMENT AS THIS, does not change from generation to generation. If the family decays, the nation crumbles; if the family maintains strength and unity, the same attributes are effective throughout the nation.
The recognition and understanding of this universal truth, as it applies to all facets, produces a greater comprehension of issues that are faced in America today. Why must we, in this day and age, define the reality of this world as being drugs, alcohol, sex, homosexuality, suicide, abortion, and so on? As Christians, we have Christ as the standard for our reality. We can have hope as we view these issues from a Biblical perspective, but why do we not share this hope with those in whom it is lacking?
Christians, in general, have maintained a state of apathetic ignorance and self-centeredness for many years. We have allowed the enemy to gain footholds within the American family, church, and nation. When one looks at the past, and at the heritage left by such men as our Founding Fathers, he can see examples of Godly character and self-government. Such principles were taught in the home, strengthened in the church, and applied in society. These men passed on to future generations a heritage greater than that of any other nation in the world.
As Daniel Webster said: “If we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live in the fear of God and shall respect His commandments, … we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; … But if we and our posterity neglect religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
This statement delineates the progression of America today, only too well. If we do not step out of our apathetic ignorance and self-centeredness and gain, once again, a vision for multi-generations, America will pass into “profound obscurity.”
As a teenager, I see the solution to this eminent danger as the complete restoration of the family and church units of society. As Rev. S. Philips said, “The Christian home … forms the citizen, lays the foundation for civil and political character, prepares the social element and taste, and determines our national prosperity or adversity.” The home itself is the multi-generational unit. It is the training ground for the leaders of future generations.
Psalm 127:4-5 says: “As arrows in the hands of a mighty man; so are children of youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” As youth, we must realize that we are “arrows” which will defeat the enemy when joined with our parents, and others of the older generation, who are the “bows” which will set us in flight.
We need to catch a vision for future generations. This vision is analogous to a race in which a baton is passed from runner to runner. The runners represent the generations and the baton is the vision for joining the generations which is to be passed from one runner to the next until the final goal has been accomplished. All the runners of this race are united by one common goal; that being, to pass the baton. If even one runner in this race is not in unity with the others, the whole race is jeopardized. For if the baton is dropped, the runners must stop, turn around, and pick up again. This cycle will be continuous if unity is lacking, and the baton will never be passed on.
If we as arrows are not in unity with our parents and other “runners of the race,” the patterns seen in this analogy will, and already have, become reality.
As the title of this feature states, each one of us must become a “Soaring Arrow,” fully harvesting all the seeds that have been planted in our lives. We need not wait years to harvest the fruit of previous years of training; fruit that is currently ripe, and ready to be picked. We can begin now to deal with issues in our society from a Biblical perspective, thereby providing hope and solutions to those who are in need. As Hebrews 12:1 states, “… let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
We need not be stopped because of disobedience or lack of vision for future generations; rather we must advance and reach out for the future of that calling which God has bestowed on our lives and upon our generation! Then, and only then, may we, as Daniel Webster said, “have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country.”