I’ve had the occasion in life of driving some very fine sports cars. One of the necessary functions of an automobile that can exceed speeds of 180 miles an hour is a high performance “braking system”. A quality “braking system” can save a driver’s life. The expression, “Put the brakes on”, is one that we often use when warning others to slow down in life. It’s also been a popular phrase that I’ve used in parenting.
As a father of five children, I’ve had my share of moments where I’ve wondered if my kids would inherit the most valuable asset of the kingdom – “Hearing God’s Voice”. As they mature, they surprise me both ways. At times, I’m amazed how insightful they are into spiritual things and other times I’m wondering, “Who are you and where’s my kid”?
There’s an amazing story in the book of First Samuel where God reaches out to a young boy and begins to develop a “braking system”. Three times, God calls the name of young Samuel, and three times the boy appears before Eli the priest asking him, “Did you call me?” and three times Eli responds, “I didn’t call you, my son … Go back to bed.” (1 Samuel 3:6)
The obvious lesson here is that Eli’s voice was likened to the voice of God. The boy Samuel had been trained, mentored and disciplined under Eli the priest. What neither of them recognized was that God had been developing a “braking system” inside of the child as Samuel would often listen to Eli’s instruction. Samuel would later grow and mature. He would have an inbuilt high performance “braking system” that would guide him when Eli was no longer around.
As parents, our labor is never in vain. As we are faithful to speak for God, God is faithful to speak for Himself when we are not around. And God’s “braking system” will protect our children even at high speeds, around sharp corners and in the darkest and most slipperiest of places.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)