Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YOUTH (04/04/19)
- TITLE: Grandpa To The Rescue
By Mariane Holbrook
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Harold and Albert, his 10-year-old twin grandsons, raced up on the porch just in time to break his reverie.
"School over already?" Grandpa asked with a yawn. "Did you run home through the woods or is that dust on your bare feet from the dirt road?"
The boys dropped their books on the porch and sat down to catch their breaths.
"Grandpa," Harold said, "A boy in our class got in trouble today and Mr. Adams, our teacher, paddled him. Then Mr. Adams yelled at the class about what a worthless bunch of farm kids we were and said, 'Youth is definitely wasted on the young.' He was mad all the rest of the day.
Grandpa yanked off his cap and threw it hard against the porch railing.
"I'll tell you what," Grandpa thundered. "Tomorrow at school, I want you to ask Mr. Adams' permission to speak to the class about why youth is definitely NOT wasted on the young. I'll give you a note to hand him in case he refuses.
"Tell the class that there are many, many cases in the Holy Bible where God used the young. You might start with Jeremiah in the Old Testament."
Grandpa was a deacon in our small Baptist church in Kentucky. He had read the Bible so often that you could ask him about a verse and he'd tell you the one above and below it, too. His memorization skills were legendary.
For the next hour, Grandpa retold Bible stories that kept the boys mesmerized. When he finished, he quizzed the boys to see how much they remembered.
The next morning at the one-room schoolhouse which accommodated grades 1 through 8, Albert handed the teacher Grandpa's note, asking for permission for the boys to address the class. At first reluctant, Mr. Adams finally agreed.
Harold spoke first. "Yesterday, Mr. Adams used an expression we'd never heard before about youth being wasted on the young. Here are some examples from the Bible where God used kids to do great things.
"Jeremiah was about 17 when God called him to minister to the people of Judah. He was scared to death and said, "But Lord, I'm just a kid. I can't speak in front of people like that." God promised to give Jeremiah the words to speak if he would just obey the Lord. Jeremiah did and God used him in a big way.
"Then there was Samuel who was about 12 or 13 years old when God called him to the ministry. God used Samuel as a prophet and great leader. And don't forget young David who many believe was between 13 and 15 years old and the youngest of his brothers when God started using him. Though small for his age, God used this boy to kill the mighty Goliath with nothing but a slingshot and a stone. Then he chopped off Goliath's head for good measure."
Harold nudged Albert with his elbow, cueing him to speak next.
"Did you know that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably 14 or 15 years old when she gave birth to the baby Jesus?" Albert asked. "Who would ever think God would choose a girl that young to bring the Savior into the world?
"Timothy was only 16 years old when he became a Christian and worked closely with the Apostle Paul to bring the gospel to many cities they visited. Paul called Timothy, 'My son' because he loved him so much.
"All through history, children and young adults have proved that 'Youth is not wasted on the young.' Mozart wrote his first symphony at 8. Beethoven composed his first piece of music at age 12. Joan of Arc at 17 turned around the bloody Hundred Years' War that devastated medieval France. Picasso made his first oil painting when he was 9 years old."
Mr. Adams jumped quickly from his seat. "All right, boys, that's enough. You can sit down now. You've made your point. I can see you've done your homework."
"Grandpa deserves the credit," laughed Harold. "Shall we tell him you apologize for saying, 'Youth is wasted on the young?' "
The class erupted into sustained laughter and applause as their unsmiling teacher exited the room, slamming the door behind him.
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
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