Devotion in Motion: Thankful for the imprints

 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NKJV)         

By Bro. John L. Cash

The events of this past week reminded me of something out of my childhood. When I was a tiny boy, I used to go and visit at my grandmother’s house. The house I grew up in had furniture and books and masses of miscellaneous things everywhere. But my grandmother’s house was always very neat and tidy, and she had only a few special things she had saved.

My sister and I spent hours and hours looking at these special things every time we went for a visit. One thing my grandmother had saved was a stack of magazines from November, 1963. These reported the events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  I looked at these magazines every time I visited my grandmother. And because I was at such a tender age, an amazing thing happened. A permanent imprint was made on my young mind. And ever since then I’ve had a fascination with the facts and theories about the Kennedy assassination.

Over the decades I have read almost every book that has been written and watched every documentary that’s ever been made about this subject. Susan says I have an obsessive and compulsive fixation with it all—and I must confess  there is a lot of truth in that. When something imprints us, we are changed for a lifetime.

I wish I could have a conversation with all of you, each of my loyal readers. Because something I have found is that everybody has something they are inordinately fascinated by, as a result of something that happened in their childhood. Something imprinted you, and you were changed for a lifetime. And I would be so interested to hear your story—because it would be as unique as you are.

As I have been preparing for Thanksgiving this week, I have realized how grateful I am for the things that the adults around me impressed upon me when I was a child. I was surrounded by people who had a genuine faith in Jesus Christ, adults who made sure I was in the Lord’s House every time the door was open. The “fiery brand” of their faithfulness (in life and doctrine) made an indelible mark on my heart, soul, and mind.

A friend once said, “John, you are just ‘hard-wired’ to be a part of the Church.” I am eternally indebted to those who by their godly lives have “marked me for life.” Today’s Scripture lesson (at the top) tells parents to impress upon their children the Word of God using every means possible.

Strive to do this in the coming week. But, more than that, give diligence to living a life that shows the veracity of the faith that you profess. Our children do not always believe what we say to them, but they cannot deny the way we live.  

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 28 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, and until recently taught Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (a congregation which will prepare metric tons of cornbread dressing this week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 22), his wife Madeline (age 22), and Seth (age 19).