Tell me that story again

Published 8:29 pm Friday, August 12, 2016

One of my favorite storytellers from years gone by was Jerry Clower. I enjoyed his clean, down-to-earth way of sharing humor; I even had the privilege of seeing him in person a couple of times. Once while in conversation with my coworkers, something came up that brought to my mind one of Clower’s stories.

As a couple of ladies listened to me retell his story about the watermelon eating challenge, one of them got a chuckle out of it even though my delivery was nowhere near Clower’s ability to pull his listeners into what he was telling. But the other lady, who was by far the younger of the two, did not reflect much connection with the story. After I questioned her about it, she confirmed what I suspected: she had no clue who Jerry Clower was!

Even though I have heard them before, I still find Clower’s stories entertaining on those rare occasions when I hear them being rerun.

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During a church fellowship group that I attended, part of the discussion focused on young children and how, even though they often do not seem to be listening to anything the Sunday School teacher is trying to teach, are likely to be absorbing much more than they appear to be at the moment. I am not quite sure what kind of student I was in Sunday School when I was child, but I do know that the benefits of hearing the stories and principles of the Bible at a very young age laid a foundation in my mind that I still benefit from today.

I have heard those Biblical accounts numerous times over the decades, yet they are still meaningful to me each time I hear them.

As our young people are entering the classroom for another school year, we should be appreciative of those who have chosen to be teachers to educate our children and grandchildren. It is also an excellent time to remind ourselves of how important it is for us to teach the children—both inside and outside the walls of the church–the truths of God found in His Word.

I have no doubt that the role of a dedicated teacher—whether in the public school room or in the church Sunday School class—sometimes becomes frustrating, yet it is a worthy investment and a most rewarding duty. Certainly we should be grateful for all those who serve in those highly valuable positions.

I remember Jerry Clower’s stories that I heard years ago because I enjoyed them and I liked the way that he told them. The young lady who had no idea who he was missed out on an interesting part of American culture as far as I am concerned, but it will not have a negative impact on her present or future accomplishments.

However, young people that fail to become exposed to the truths of God’s Word while their minds are fresh and ready to absorb new information are missing an important window of instruction. It must be our goal to make sure that we provide them the opportunity to hear His Word being taught and allow them to see us putting It into practice.

As we do that, we can have the same hope for those that we influence as the Apostle Paul had for those that he taught: “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15, New International Version). Some stories are well worth hearing again and again.