Some of you folks who have followed this blog for a while know we work with 4H here in rural Ohio. Truth be told, just about every part of our lives is built around educating the next generation whether it be my teaching at the university or my main gal's twenty-sixth year in the fifth grade... teaching that is. Working with the youth, teaching AWANA's or Sunday School, coaching, training, teaching NRA and CCW courses... we've dedicated a lot of ourselves to passing on knowledge and skills to others the best that we can, even in our own family.
Well, we also need to continue that life-long learning ourselves. My wife and I spent a terrific weekend in southern Ohio attending a 4H Shooting Sports Instructor development workshop. She picked up the coordinator certification while I spent a couple of days in the classroom and cold, drizzling rain wrapping up the 4H shotgun certification. We met a lot of good folks, over two-hundred, getting prepared to pass on the shooting sports to the next generation of Americans.
We really feel the youth are our future. That's just not a cliche' round here. We've tried to prepare ourselves, our daughter, and all those who we have the privilege to teach and train for the future. A future where folks are able appreciate the blessings they have and to proudly take care of and provide for themselves while caring for each other. Isn't that a large part of being a Christian and American is all about?
One of the Bible verses I've really grown to appreciate says in Romans 12:2... "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." That tells me I need to stay out of the ruts and keep learning, every day... about everything I can... particularly about those things that are necessary for me to take care of myself, my family, and other folks... and notice, I said, "me"... not the government.
One thing about trainin' up the next generation in shooting sports... they learn safety, responsibility, a life-long activity... but most importantly... they learn to develop confidence, overcome fears, and gain the personal satisfaction of being able to use and maybe even master a tool of incredible heritage, power, and enjoyment.
Yeah, I'm an idealist... a black-n-white, not much gray, kind of guy. We're blessed and ultimately try to share our blessings with others... and there's not a whole lot of better ways to do that than... Developing the next generation...