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AWRIGHT DEN: Time is now

COREY WORRELL, [email protected]

AWRIGHT DEN: Time is now

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THE GREATEST and most priceless resource given to mankind was time. What is interesting though is that although it cannot be created, bought, expanded or destroyed, it can indeed be wasted.

Everything is operated by time and if you only take a moment to look around, you may recognise how it affects everything we do. Life, seasons, the creation of earth, age, salaries, success in business and sports, education, meetings, projects, reports, appointments, flights, directions and the list goes on, are all influenced or their operations determined by time.

The Bible teaches in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. Within the gates of time are specific seasons with specific opportunities and rewards, and once that time is gone, those specific seasons, opportunities and rewards are gone as well. Since there is an appointed time for everything, it means those who understand and recognise the times and respond appropriately, will be the ones who reap the rewards and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

There is an appointed time to catch the 7 a.m. bus to get to work. If you miss the time, you miss the bus; if you miss the bus, you get to work late. Similarly, you just don’t turn up at the airport at anytime to catch a flight. There is an appointed time for that flight and knowing and responding to the time makes the difference.

Farmers know there is an appointed time to prepare the fields and to plant. If they miss that time, it affects to potency of the harvest, which affects supermarkets and consumers, which will affect income, which then affects families. Have you ever tried to eat a banana or mango out of season or when their time had not yet come? I am sure the result wouldn’t be tasty or enjoyable.

In the Bible, what made the sons of Issachar so efficient was that they understood the times and as a result, were able to instruct Israel what to do. Seasons and times are very important and are critical not just to your present situations, but understanding, recognising and responding appropriately will make a difference in what your future or your children’s future looks like.

In Barbados, a person becomes an adult at the age of 18 and since age is defined by time, this means by law, parents have an allotted time of influence over their child. This allotted time is to instil discipline into a child. As a parent of three, a former teacher of eight years, a youth leader who has worked with young people throughout the world, I can testify, based on experience and observation, that it is easier and more beneficial to instil that discipline from birth going forward, than it is to do it after the age 18.

Now, this is where things get interesting. The Bible has many verses that speak about children and discipline. Most of them are found in Proverbs and sadly, many of us have wrongfully concluded that the discipline it speaks about is always lashes. There are two Hebrew words used in the Old Testament to represent the English word “discipline”. “Yacar” (H3256) is used 43 times and “musar” (H4148) is used 50 times and when you check their Hebrew meaning, discipline is defined as chastisement, training, correction, reproof, admonishment and instruction. When you check the Greek in the New Testament, words such as tutorage, education and nurture are used to define discipline some 19 times. Punishment, as it relates to lashes, using the rod or what we call corporal punishment, is also found in the definition of discipline and chastisement but less that ten times out of a total of 112 instances referenced.

Lashes as a form of instilling discipline has its place but where we as a society went wrong is that we focused on discipline as a punishment and not as a means of instruction, correction, training, tutorage, education and nurturing.

The Bible encourages us to discipline our children and when we fail to, we are abusing them and setting them up for a future filled with failure, which may manifest itself as crime, promiscuity, drug addiction or wastage.

Children need discipline and here are four foundational areas where that discipline is developed: values, rules, structure and boundaries.

To be continued . . . .

Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth youth ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email: [email protected]