It is amazing how as you walk into adulthood you begin to understand and appreciate the lessons that were taught to you as a child and teen. Sometimes your greatest moments of learning are at times in your life when no one, including the person who was speaking to you, though you were listening. I never ceased to be amazed at how the lessons spoken at what seemed to be inopportune moments come to my remembrance at just the right time. Indeed the Bible is right when it declares that we should train up a child in the way that they should go so that when they grow old they will not depart from it. (Paraphrased from Proverbs 22:6)
Never underestimate the importance and weight of the words that you speak. They will either bring life or death. Your words can encourage and empower a person or they can destroy them, either way, you will be held accountable for the end result.
One of the empowering lessons that I learned came in handy as we dealt with seemingly endless snow over the last few weeks. Years ago, when being coached on how to drive in the snow, especially during a storm I was taught to simply follow the tracks that previous cars had already established. I was reminded that trying to speed, switch lanes excessively or “blaze a new trail” in a snowy street was the fastest way to end up in an accident. I was encouraged to slow down, relax, and pay attention to the road. Other drivers who had gotten up even earlier than I had, had already suffered through the misfortune of having to create a path and there was no need for me to. However, I was also aware that as I drove I kept the path clear for the people coming behind me.
As we celebrate Black History month, let us all remember that we are blessed to travel life’s roads with greater ease because we are able to follow in the path of so many who suffered before us so that we would not have to blaze the trail. We are indebted to those who were spat upon, mistreated, rejected, overlooked and killed so that we could enjoy many of our freedoms today.
While the road has not been completely cleared, we must acknowledge that significant progress was made by our fore parents. We must also remember that we, as members of subsequent generations, are not absolved of our responsibility to keep the road clear for others who will come after us.
We do not have the time nor the luxury of losing more ground, socially, educationally, economically or spiritually. It is also our responsibility to clear the drift from the places were rights that were once gained have been taken (or given) away. Whether we see them in the rear view mirror or not, there are people coming behind us who are depending on us to make sound decisions that will positively impact their future.
We only need to look to the cross at Calvary for our greatest example of selflessness and sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins and created a trail that can lead us safely to salvation…if we follow the path.