For What It’s Worth

Awesome young people

What a night it was, and what a morning!

Thursday night was the annual Christmas recital for students of adults at our church who give music lessons. Most, though not all, of the students were from families at Bible Baptist Church. The program included performance of 48 pieces, primarily piano, but also including harp, horn, violin, and vocal. Performers ranged in age from the youngest, age 6, to mid-teens. Some were in the early stages of learning, and others clearly had advanced skills.

The skill level mattered not. The energy, dedication, and desire on display invigorated the audience, and, as nearly as I could tell, everyone had a good time.

As my wife will attest, I am not one to be indwelled early with the Christmas spirit. Christmas has become too commercialized for me. When I see Christmas displays, decorations, or TV ads before Thanksgiving, especially those appearing shortly after Halloween, I want to boo. I’m just not into Christmas as a time to spend wastefully, which is the way I view much of the gifting that occurs today.

However, even the “Bah, Humbug” guy that I am, I came out of the recital with a good dose of the Christmas spirit.

It was a delightful evening. I was impressed by the youth. It takes courage and desire to perform in front of more than 200 people, especially when you are young and know that you likely will hit some sour notes as you play. But they stepped up and performed. And any wrong notes they hit were not sour notes to me.

Now, I’m ready to move on into the Christmas season.

Then, Friday morning I had the privilege of being one of the judges for the annual Heritage Academy Spelling Bee. Heritage Academy is an educational program at Bible Baptist Church that works closely with parents home schooling their children. We had a peewee spelling bee, elementary school bee, and a middle school bee.

I was impressed by the competence of the youngsters participating. We started spelling about 10 a.m. and concluded about 10 minutes after 1 p.m., interspersing two breaks of about 10 minutes each.

Many of the children in the spelling bee also were participants in the Christmas recital the night before. What an encouragement it is to see these youngsters working and achieving in areas of personal growth. They are learning so many valuable lessons about setting goals, working hard, being responsible, overcoming fears and doubts, dealing with mistakes or failures, etc.

They are blessed to have parents who encourage and support them in endeavors such as this. Unfortunately, far too many children in today’s world are not so fortunate. It is overwhelmingly sad to me the number of children I see who are growing up in homes with violence, drug usage, absent father or mother, parents more concerned with career or self-indulgence than caring for their children, a lack of love, and no real guidance or training to help them grow into mature, responsible, and loving adults.

The warm feeling I had from the spelling bee meshed nicely with that from the Christmas recital the night before. Apparently, I’m getting the Christmas spirit a bit earlier this year.

Are you?

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