I don't care what age you were, you had to love that show and yesterday in church, there was something in our pastor's sermon that reminded me of it, but it pertained to faith. Pastor Paul is a well read man, he knows the Bible better than anyone I have ever met and he has a down home, easy to listen to style in his sermons, using a lot of stories to exemplify the point he is trying to make. He was also trained by the Billy Graham organization and truly has the gift of presenting his material in a way that all can understand and relate to, a tribute to the founder of our Methodist denomination, John Wesley.
In his sermon, the Pastor told the story of a young boy who went to a revival with his parents. Now all the attending children were seated in a large group, close to the pastor and in the view of all of the adults. Perhaps it was done to insure better behavior, since we all know that youngsters sometimes have it difficult sitting still for something that they might not understand. But the parents thought it important for them to participate, learning to appreciate the process at a young age which would cause them to ask questions and inquire later. Curiosity breeds knowledge when it is supported by someone older who can answer those questions.
The revivalist preaching used a lot of his emotion as he talked about why Jesus died and what it means for all of mankind and while little Johnny didn't take it all in, he understood that the man truly believed in his heart the words that were coming from his lips. Suddenly, the evangelist talked of the importance of being born again in the way taught by John the Baptist, of putting our faith in the risen Christ not in mortal man and he asked that all in the audience who had been reborn in Christ to please stand up. Some folks weren't comfortable, but others jumped to their feet and the emotional presenter repeated his request as more stood, but a significant number stayed in their seats. And then, the pastor asked one more time and little Johnny jumped up and joined the group standing and clapping. He and a few others in the children's section even went forward at the end of the service.
When all was done, he went back to his parents as they prepared to go home. His mother looked at his somewhat shocked and said, "Why did you stand up, Johnny? You know your haven't been confirmed yet and don't understand enough to make that decision. So, why did you do it?"
Little Johnny looked at her and said as only a young boy or girl can, "Well, Mom, while the preacher was talking and more kept standing I looked around at all the people sitting and the expressions on their face and knew I didn't want to be like them. And when I say Joey sitting and chomping on his gum next to me, I sure didn't want to be like him, either. So, I stood."
His dad hugged him and his mom and said, "Well, Son, that sounds like some pretty good reasoning to me and I'm proud of you. I guess it's time to get you in those confirmation classes," as his mom smiled and nodded her head approval.
Sometimes out of the mouths of babes come more wisdom than we can gather in a lifetime. And it happened with little Johnny just like it did sometimes with those kids with Art Linkletter. Oh sometimes, it's not so good, but it usually is the truth and that in itself is quite refreshing.