Get them youngBy Randell Tiongson on January 8th, 2011
I’m going to be a bit off in the theme of my blog site for this entry. I felt the need to write this which is something that is very personal to me. Anyway, my blog site is about Life and Personal Finance right? Allow me write about Life this time around.
I just came from a prayer meeting from my church at Victory Green Hills. We are on our 2nd day of our annual prayer & fasting week. Fasting has always been one of those activities that I get anxious about because it really challenges my discipline and yet at the same time it is a time I experience a lot of breakthroughs.
Our prayer meetings have themes and tonight, the theme was about the youth. I was having second thoughts of attending tonight’s meeting since I am still ‘woozy’ from fasting, a bit dizzy and tired. My teen-aged daughters prevailed upon me since one of their close friends was to give a testimony. It was encouraging to see that our church is really reaching out and preparing the next generation by engaging them and discipling them. As a father, I am always concerned about the future of my children and I will do anything that I can to provide a good future for them. However, I must always realize the limitations of what I can do. No matter what we do, what lies for the future of our children is really beyond our control – regardless of how we think it can be so. The best thing we can really do is to teach them, train them, guide them and show them and provide an environment for them to experience what their true purpose is in life is.
During the prayer meeting, I listened to the testimony of a senior year high school student from Ateneo, Avram Francisco. He recalled how he had many of the usual issues of a typical teenager which revolves around self-centeredness, as many of us are. Through engagement by his relatives, Avram eventually got to know Christ and surrendered his life to Him. Story didn’t really turned out too great when he gave his life to Christ since he still had to deal with some more issues which he has not surrendered, as he narrated in his testimony. It took another encounter for him to realize what it really meant to be a disciple of Jesus and his life has never been the same twice. Avram now leads other students to Christ and has been passionate about the calling God impressed upon him – to live for others and to bring them to Christ. It is not only the teen aged youth he is leading, he also patiently leads a group of young boys – teaching them about Jesus and being a good Kuya to the kids. Avram’s story is merely the beginning and if he continues to put Christ in the center of his life, I am confident that many things are in store for this guy and I may just write about him again. Avram was also inspired into discipleship by a preaching of our Pastor Dennis Sy during their youth camp last summer. Our Pastor used the scripture from Jude 1:23 (NIV): “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
This experience made me look back on my youth, on how lost and misguided I was. It took decades for me to finally knock some sense into my hard head and realize my true purpose in life: that of worship of the Lord. I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had a friend like the many youth I see at our church – engaging their friends and getting them to have a personal relationship with Christ. I am pretty sure my life would have less of the many wrong decisions I made. But God has his ways and his will is always perfect; I have stopped questioning his ways and his timing so I am just assuming that it was God’s plan for me to get to know Him when I was 40 instead of 14 or so.
My wife and I are always thankful to the Lord that our children has also become disciples of Christ, otherwise I would probably already have a heart problem from worrying what they are up to all the time, haha!
We really need to get them young, help them get to know Christ at the earliest time possible. That’s the best thing we can do for the next generation.
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. – Psalm 34:11, NIV
*photo by Larry Uy