Staff & Sling

Joseph E. Hébert, Ph.D.

98119 N 3745 Rd
Okemah, OK  74859
918 623 3078

Now is the Time

Have you ever had a bad dream, a nightmare really, where you wake up relieved that it had only been a dream? Of course we all have. There are a few waking moments, when you first realize that you're in bed, and then the joy is overwhelming. You're overcome with relief knowing that you can now avoid whatever mistake, whatever poor choice or lapse in judgement, had caused things to go so horribly wrong in your slumber.

But the truth is that life seldom gives us such second chances. In life you rarely get to wipe the slate truly clean, as though your poor choices had never been made. And, just as in our dreams, sometimes those choices can have tragic consequences.

A few years ago Carroll O'Connor, the actor who played Archie Bunker on television, lost his son to a drug overdose. Afterward he went onto as many talk shows as would book him warning people to do whatever they had to, any- and everything they could, to get and/or to keep their kids off of drugs. But alas, it was too late for him to heed his own advise.

Several years ago there was an incident at a Luby's Cafeteria in Texas. A man drove his pickup truck into the restaurant and set about shooting as many people as he could. Among the patrons that day was a woman having lunch with her parents. She was a professional woman, a chiropractor, and she watched as her parents were both killed. She was instrumental in getting the law passed in Texas allowing citizens to carry their weapons, because she traveled the state telling all who would listen how she regretted leaving her pistol in her truck that day. She could easily have stopped the shooter, had she had her gun, but it was 20 feet away in her truck because she was worried that a weapons conviction would cost her professional license. She told everyone she could how much she wished she could go back and do it over, because she would gladly give up her professional license to have her parents back. And she was instrumental in getting the law changed in Texas, but not in time to prevent her regret.

Now let's think about you. Think about your child, and imagine that it's 5 or 10 years from now. Imagine that your child has gotten in with the wrong crowd, and started using drugs or engaging in risky sexual behavior. Now picture in your mind's eye opening the front door to a policeman who tells you that your child has been arrested, or worse yet has been found behind a vacant building, dead of a drug overdose. Or imagine in your mind's eye the doctor coming into the exam room and, as gently as possible, breaking the news to you and your child that she or he has contracted a terminal disease. Now think about this. I mean really think about this. In that moment, what would you be willing to give to go back in time and do it over, do it better?

Good news! You are back then in time right now. It's not too late to do it better right now. Are you still willing, now while the cost is so little? Then do it better now. Get your children up on Sunday morning and bring them to Sunday School. Don't send them. Bring them. Show them both by direction and by example the way to go. Scripture tells us that if we will raise our children in the way they ought to go they won't depart from it when they're old (Proverbs 22: 6). Please, do it now while you still can.

Proverbs 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.