Growing… and Prayer

What do you remember about growing up?

I remember a childhood in a small town where anything I said or did at school was home before I got there. My grandmother cautioned me not to do anything I wouldn’t want printed in the Advocate or that I wouldn’t do in the front window of the local mercantile.

I also remember feeling inadequate and ineffectual more often than not.

That has been more (substantially more) than half a century ago. But some of those feelings haunted me well into adulthood.

Even at age fifty-plus, I felt as if I were ten years old when I stepped into my mother’s home.

People in my home town remember who and what I was as a teenager. We went to school together. Most of them have no idea who I am now. We’ve had little contact in the last sixty years. We may exchange greetings, notes, Christmas cards, email and phone calls, but we’ve not been with one another face-to-face for any substantive time.

They have only the vaguest idea of how I’ve grown and changed over the years. And when we come together, it’s almost always on the old footing.

This tendency to keep people as they were is even referenced in the Bible.

But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. ~~  Mark 6:4 (KJV)

He was acknowledging the fact that the people in the town where he grew up could only see him as the carpenter’s son. The people of his home town missed out on his miracles, his teaching, his presence.

Sometimes we do this same injustice to our children, remembering them at ten rather than seeing them grow and change.

We have a president-elect who leaves a lot to be desired. But it is a known fact that the presidency changes people. Some grow into the job; others botch it royally. But through it all, we have survived as a nation.

I would like to suggest that we exercise a little patience to allow this president-elect to grow into the job. We just might be pleasantly surprised. And while we are being patient, it wouldn’t hurt to pray for him – and all of our elected officials.

In the words of Paul:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

 ~~ I Timothy 2:1-2

For kings and all that are in authority…

That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life….

The Daniel Prayer just might be the proper pattern.


About Judith Robl

Speaker - Author - Editor - Writing Coach
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2 Responses to Growing… and Prayer

  1. Judith Robl says:

    Ah, my friend. You had a family, mom and dad, sisters and even a brother. I had no father, no siblings, and for many of those years, my mother worked away from home, so I lived with her parents.

    We shared the myopia. People used to say I “high hatted them” on the street. But if they were at Seaman’s drug store and I was at the post office across the street, I couldn’t see them. I never learned to look for people, so to this day, I do not recognize people in cars as they pass.

    We are alike in so many ways, and different in so many ways, because of the similarities and differences in our growing up. We were both bookish because those worlds were available to us when the current one was unsatisfactory.

    I still believe in the power of prayer, and I remember that we have a God who allows – and even approves – u-turns. I will be praying assiduously.


  2. Sally Lewis says:

    What do I remember about growing up? I remember we both grew up, best friends, in that same small, all white, town in Kansas. I remember you from my earliest memories of nursery class at the Methodist Church but in important ways we grew up worlds apart. Even as we experienced so many days and common things together, we occupied vastly different places in the town’s social structure. School was our common bond and our equalizer, until we took our separate paths when your family moved away.

    If you remember I was really nearsighted as a kid and there were so many things I just did not see, not with my eyes (even when standing right by the blackboard to take a test) and not with my heart or my head. I read a lot and most of what I knew of the world I knew from books. Mostly it was a good life. I had a visual awakening at 13 when I got my 1st pair of glasses and could amazingly recognize someone walking towards me before they got an arms length away. I did not really see the world we grew up in, or my actual place in it, until well into my adult years.

    When I was about ten my favorite uncle came back to town to live with my Grandmother, right across the street from the school. I soon learned he was an alcoholic. He became the town drunk which was very painful, even to my nearsighted self. How I wished that he would change. I remember clearly the conversation I had with myself then as I determined I would not to be judged by his behavior because as a child I had no control over it. That decision was liberating then and it has stood me well in the years since.

    Over our many, many years of walking different, separate paths we have both surely changed, drastically some would say, yet when I read something you’ve written on Facebook or on the rare occasions when we are both together in the same room I see so many of the same traits and mannerisms I remember from those days we sat, just a desk away from each other, in the 4th grade.

    So yes, I will keep an open mind about out current President Elect but at 70 I do not expect his basic character is going to change much in the coming months and I expect the man he was 10 years ago is likely to be the man we will see in the White House.


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