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Just dropping by ... The value GPS

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairy Published on 11 June 2021
Compass vs. GPS

Before the invention of the compass, navigators looked up into the vast blackness of the sky and charted their course by the shimmering stars. During the day, the sun pointed the way.

Later, the astrolabe, a medieval invention, gave the sailor a path through uncharted waters to the land of hope and plenty. Today, thousands of ships in the water and in the air are navigated by intricate compasses and GPS. Even pedestrians can use GPS to find their way. If the coordinates are correct, everyone knows where they are going, but there isn’t a day goes by when a child goes out into the world to navigate through the uncharted shadows of life without so much as a glimmering star to point the way.

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Children who wander without direction are not like lost ships that will be destroyed by crashing storms, jagged rocks and reefs, or run out of supplies to perish on the ocean without food or fresh water. Lost children are individuals who, if not checked, can destroy nations and societies. Children are the leaders of tomorrow. As one generation dies, another rises. Values and traditions are replaced by the values and traditions children have internalized and held sacred. Values and traditions only linger if they are passed on.

Across the nation, schools, parents, churches and conservative leaders are raising weak arms to stop the mighty flood of changing values and traditions. We are faced with unprecedented evil, which if not stopped will undermine and destroy our most sacred traditions and values. Religious freedom is on the chopping block. Family solidarity and parental choices have given way to the philosophy, “If it feels right, do it, no matter who it hurts.” Biblical teachings that have been successful for thousands of years are replaced by Super Bowl Sunday, Instinct, Barry and Succession. Our children know more about Peppa Pig, PAW Patrol, and Invader Zim than they know about Jesus Christ. I wonder how much those shows will help them navigate the shifting waters of the new normal.

We have seen our values and freedoms ripped away incrementally by those who want to change the fabric of our nation. When I first started teaching as an aide in a public school, the teacher stood before the classroom, bowed her head and prayed for each student’s success, the success of the nation and the political leaders. Gradually, prayer was outlawed. First it was, we don’t pray together for fear of offending someone, favoring one religious belief over another or infringing on the delicate balance between church and state. Consequently, in my later teaching career, we were allowed a moment of silence where everyone put their heads on their desks and thought their own prayer. The value of prayer was gradually removed from the school curriculum.

The value of keeping God’s commandments followed a similar path. Posting the commandments in schools went by the wayside when the powers that be decided it was detrimental to the growth of children because if posted, children might read the commandments and feel they must obey them. What a shame that would have been to those who perpetrated school shootings. If they had read those commandments, they might have made a different choice. No matter how illogical, the commandments were deemed politically incorrect, and to many, the blessings promised for obeying the commandments were null and void.

Because the commandments were not continually before our eyes, we started to make some mistakes. When I was growing up, the Sabbath was literally a day of rest. Stores were closed, farm equipment sat idle and the roads were empty because most people were in church. Sporting events were few because there was no money in empty stands. We gave up more than rest on Sunday when we started to reverence other events more than God. Here are a few of the promises given for obeying the commandments.

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Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;

Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.

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And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. (Leviticus 26:2-9 KJV)

Maybe it is just me, but there seems to be less peace and plenty more fear of war and desolation that I have seen in my lifetime. Maybe it is time to take a look at keeping the Sabbath day holy.

As teachers and parents, we might have given diligent effort to teaching values, but in our society, it’s like putting talcum powder on the sewer. The problem is not what children know in their heads; it is what they believe in their hearts that internalizes a value system.

I have puzzled over the dilemma of how to teach values to children who come from homes where parents value things more than people. They value grades more than knowledge and value the politically correct more than truth.

Patterns of the past tell us that we must have a revolution to change things. In most minds that means war and violence. But Christ, the greatest teacher of all time, didn’t see it that way. He simply said, “Come follow me.” His path was not new. It was as old as the stepping-stones of the Bible. If you follow Him, there is no need for the Ten Commandments because in keeping the higher law, you keep the lesser law. He said, “Search the scriptures.” He knew that if we read the manual, we can’t go far wrong. He left footsteps to follow that are not blown away in the sands of time. Teachings like: “Turn the other cheek” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” are just as applicable today as they were when Jesus spoke the words to the awe-struck crowds thousands of years ago.

Our value GPS coordinates must come from Biblical teachings, not politically correct jargon. There have been times when I typed an address I wanted to find into my phone GPS, and I wandered for hours and finally had to ask directions from a passerby. I trusted the GPS to get me where I wanted to go. That is like trusting political leaders and the winds of changing dogma to get my children on the road to true happiness. It is not going to happen if the coordinates are incorrect.

When Jesus said, “Come follow me,” He wasn’t making a casual statement. He knows the future of nations and civilized society depends on it. Christ is our GPS and our guiding star. He was there in the beginning before the astrolabe, and He was there for the inventions of the compass and there before the first satellite was launched into space to give us the miracle of GPS, and He will be there long after we are gone. It would be a good idea to read the manual for which He so painstakingly gave His life.

Today, in our modern mixed-up world of political expedience, He can yet lead us by still waters and into the land of promise. He will keep the promises He made to the Israelites. We are still His children, and He still loves us. He is able and willing to give us peace in pandemics, droughts, wars and political uncertainty. We only need to turn our minds and hearts over to Him. Our turning could make a difference to our children and their children’s children. Who knows, we might even change the politically correct into truly correct.  end mark

Getty Images.

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