A Season-y Pistle to My Grandchildren

Dear Children:

Here it is already summer! How the seasons do fly. Of course old people notice this more; at least your old (I can remember when the church lot had not an auto in it, only buggies with horses in the stable) gramps can remember so many past seasons that they really do seem to have wings.

Seasons, a creature of God. Remem­ber? And God said, regarding the lights He put in the firmament, “Let them be for lights, signs and seasons and for days and for years.” After the flood, God promised that as long as the earth remained, they would follow one another without inter­ruption: spring, summer, fall and winter. Here in the U.S. the seasons are quite easily distinguished; but in Jamaica they sort of slide into the next without much noticeable change.

As I look upon my growing family of grandchildren, I seem to see a likeness to that Jamaican phenomenon. George and Ruthie are barely in their springtime—just little buds, you might say. Billy and Trudie have only emerged from the budding stage. I ask you, did you notice that transition? And when I visit the home of Dwight and Gertrude, I realize that the subtle change from spring to summer has happened. But just when? Even their parents cannot say.

But I am interested today in you who are in the summertime of your life. Am I talking to Bill, or Bret, or Sue, or Lynn? The summertime of your life should be marked by times and seasons of its own. The Preacher of Holy Writ lists many of them in Ecclesiastes 3. Have you read that list lately? Or does our seasonal summer­time excuse you from your personal Bible reading as well as your catechism and society lessons? The Wise Man’s sancti­fied advice in Proverbs 6:6 should set your goal also for your life-time summer: “Go to the ant…and consider her ways and be wise.” What about that advice? This: prepare your food in the summer so you will have a good harvest in the fall: that’s what. Ergo: whatever you do or read (or watch) in your summer will be reaped in your fall. First then, I would recommend for your personal Bible reading this summer the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Many a psychiatrist has lost a potential customer because of the sanctified (Spirit breathed) psychology in the Book of Proverbs which builds and braces sagging spirits of people—yes, of young people—of grandchildren, too. Try this one out for size: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.”

My neighbor complains that some of his grandchildren have “problems” which spoil their usual happy natures. I hope that none of you are so afflicted; but, if so, or if you know my neighbor’s grandchild­ren, my advice is to read the Book of Proverbs. Many “problems” are due to the guilt feelings which follow the act of sin. Now guilt feelings are not bad. No, they are good. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 20:27, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” So your guilt feelings are a gift of God to draw you back to Him, away from your sin, to lead you in the way of sanctification. The remedy is quite simple: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Prov. 28:13). Can you not see the “cheerful countenance” of the “merry heart” resulting from following such advice? When your Gramps was a little boy, he used an arithmetic book in his school which had all the answers to the lesson problems in the back of the book. So, the Spirit- filled Psychiatrist, the one and only Solomon, has put all the answers to your problems in his Book. (You can find many more answers in the Book of James and the Letter to the Corinthians.)

Do your father and mother “pick” on you? Do they “holler” at you? Do they (excuse the expression) “bitch” at you? My dear grandchildren, you are mis­reading their admonition. They are fol­lowers of my advice to my children (your Dad and Mom) to “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18).

And to you who are married and raising a family of great-grandchildren for me, see how the right summertime heeding of the Word of God now brings you a bountiful harvest?

And your Gramps, wrapped up in an afghan in his easy chair is enjoying his winter landscape of the bountiful harvest of Christian grandchildren which he sees in the field full of huge corn shocks. What a harvest! Solomon sums it all up in Ecclesiastes 12. Read it tonight, Fred, and remind your sister Amy to do so also.

And now if you have taken a speed-reading course, and have read this letter at 120 words per minute, you may have missed the pith, which was, “Read the Book of Proverbs during your summer vacation!’’

Love, Gramps