At 5:17am on the morning of July 17, 1938 a 31 year old novice pilot set out to fly from NYC to Long Beach, California. Loading his plane with 320 gallons of fuel and a large supply of Fig Newtons, he taxied down the fog shrouded runway. He turned his plane -- eastward -- as the ground crew yelled “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!”
For 24 hours Douglas Corrigan flew eastward over the cloudy, fog shrouded Atlantic -- oblivious.
At daybreak the following morning he was not in California but instead saw the thatched roofs of Dublin Ireland! He scratched his head as he landed, “I guess I went the wrong way….”
“WRONG WAY CORRIGAN” became an unlikely national hero. Tickertape parades and even a Hollywood movie celebrated the confused pilot.
Our world sure gets confused about success don’t we? We seem to have lost our compass. We call “East”, “West” and “West”, ”East.” The old prophet Isaiah warned about those who called Evil, Good or Good, Evil. In a cloudy and fog-shrouded world of moral ambiguities, we are so thankful to have God’s revealed word and revealed will to illume our path and provide direction.
In George Barna’s book TRANSFORMING OUR CHILDREN INTO SPIRITUAL CHAMPIONS he contends that it is foolish to spend so much money in our local churches on anything other than our children. According to the renowned researcher, a person’s moral foundations are generally in place by the age of 9 YEARS OLD. “In most cases people’s spiritual beliefs are irrevocably formed when in the preteen years.”
His exhaustive research reveals that 80% of church leaders had “serious involvement” in church life and training before they turned 13. Sure we can all point to numerous exceptions in our family and at the Southside church, yet the imperative of early teaching stands.
“In essence what you believe by the time you are 13 is what you will die believing.”
We as parents and grandparents will never regret one minute or one nickel we have invested in providing a moral compass that will point them toward a healthy spirituality. As church leaders we will never regret one minute or one nickel that we have invested in our children’s ministries and outreach.