“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:5
One of my favorite analogies for working with children comes from Mark Twain’s description of a young river pilot learning from an old one how to navigate the Mississippi River.
“My boy, you’ve got to know the shape of the river perfectly. It is all there is left to steer by on a very dark night. Everything else is blotted out and gone. But mind you, it hasn’t the same shape in the night that it has in the daytime.” “How on earth am I ever going to learn it, then?” “How do you follow a hall at home in the dark? Because you know the shape of it. You can’t see it.” “Have I got to learn the shape of the river according to all these five hundred thousand different ways? If I tried to carry all that cargo in my head it would make me stoop-shouldered!” “NO! you only learn THE shape of the river; and you learn it with such absolute certainty that you can always steer by the shape that’s in your head, and never mind the one that’s before your eyes.”
So that question was answered. Here were leagues of shore changing shape. My spirits were down in the mud again. Two things seemed pretty apparent to me. One was, that in order to be a pilot a man had got to learn more than any one man ought to be allowed to know; and the other was, that he must learn it all over again in a different way every twenty-four hours.” ~Mark Twain
Teaching children is like navigating a river that has changing shores. Truth doesn’t change, but learning how to navigate in the dark of reality is completely different than navigating in enlightenment from academia’s theoretical classroom. Light or Dark the safety of those aboard depends on the certainty of the pilot about the path ahead. Know the river. Know the truth. Teaching children how to love and honor the Lord in a world that will preach self-love, me first, do what makes you happy lifestyles is a real challenge.
Piloting a home and family is no different than Mark Twain's river pilot. Know your Savior. Know HIS Word. Those aboard your boat are trusting you to, so help them steer clear of this world's temptations and stay true.
Ephesians 4:14–15 So that we are no longer children , tossed back and forth and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow up in all things into…Christ.