good night john boy

image courtesy of photobucket.com

I have a confession to make, but you gotta promise not to laugh… OK. Yuk it up all you want, it won’t change anything. Ready? … OK, here it is…

I liked the TV show The Waltons as a kid… That’s the one show my mom would watch with us as kids. I didn’t necessarily like the characters or the actors who played them so much. In fact the guy who played John Boy, I think his name was Richard Thomas, was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me at the time.

What captured my mind and spirit was the narrator at the end of each show. The narrator was supposed to be the John Boy character grown up and telling the stories then in the 1970’s from his childhood in the 1930’s.

Each episode would be a struggle or learning lesson from everyday life on Walton’s Mountain. The narrator would reflect back with fondness to his childhood in the dark days of The Depression and share what lessons he and his siblings learned, always based on a moral perspective.

I was captivated by the voice as he summarized “the moral of the story” after each episode. As a kid and now as an adult I try to do the exact same thing. I try to learn from each experience God sets before me.

I think being reminded as a kid that the actions we take during difficult times have lasting effects on our life is an honorable thing. To say I’m a little concerned by the lack of that kind of perspective today would be a gross understatement.

As I consider our society, I look for the people of character trying to pass on to the next generation the values that make people truly great.. I don’t see too much of it.

I see the majority of the adults acting like kids. By adult; I don’t mean acting like stuffy old legalists telling young people to follow the rules… Or else. I mean adults living life for the here and now, celebrating undisciplined and unprincipled lives.

Maybe our society has become so distracted with the luxuries of our lifestyle that we’ve forgotten the things that should matter the most.

I’m as guilty as anyone, my kids have things I never dreamed of when I was their age. Not that “things” are bad in and of themselves. It’s the distraction of those “things” that begin to cause us to lose focus on what truly matters.

As our country once again struggles for an economic recovery, we can see the effects all around us. We have friends and neighbors who’ve lost their jobs and homes.

During these difficult times, the true character of those in distress are revealed. This current economic situation will partially determine every one of us going through its legacy.

Like that TV show The Waltons, I remember the lessons learned during difficult times. I cherish those memories and foundation more than any material possession I own.

My children are now witness to difficult times, not to the degree that some are, by the grace of God. Our desire for our children and the next generation is to look upon our actions coupled with our attitude and find a lesson in them worthy to carry in their heart like a gift more valuable than silver or gold.

May they remember a deep, strong voice comforting them in love and reminding them that God will provide, He always does.

May they learn that honor and wisdom by and for God are worth more than anything else in this life.

Like the Waltons say, “good night John boy”, may they also remember how we said goodnight.

After all, every night is a “good” night…