I had a very sobering experience last Wednesday in Fitts Village, St. James that really got me thinking.
I saw a young boy on a bicycle fly down Kenridge Road and before I could blink, I heard my wife exclaim and then a loud “Thud!” and a scream. By the time I looked around I saw the young boy crawling from under a taxi which was stationary in a line of traffic heading north.
A lady then helped him to his feet and a man took up the bicycle ,but the taxi driver, now on his cell phone, beckoned to the man to put the bicycle back, partially under the car where it had come to rest after the collision.
Assuming that the taxi driver was calling the police and hearing a lady saying to the boy “Come and go home, that is how ya does hear wunna dead”, the seriousness then hit me.
If there was anything travelling toward Bridgetown, his parents might be spending a lot of time at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or be preparing to bury him. It made me numb.
As a parent I want to appeal to all parents to talk to your children, teach them how to use our roads correctly. Impress upon them to exercise care and caution as they have fun during the summer, at the beach, at camp at whatever they engage in.
I too had a similar incident when I was about eight years old. The postman in our district was Loftus Roach, who was in the prime of his bodybuilding career at the time. And after seeing me darting across the road on my red BMX, he took the time after giving me the mail to speak to me on the necessity of looking both ways before I crossed the road.
Feeling a bit intimidated by the massive mass of a man filling out the postal uniform, I quickly said “Okay”. He went in the area of Batalleys and I continued riding. Bad habits die hard! I darted from one grandparent’s property with the intention of getting to my other grandparent’s property across the road by entering through a passage I had made through the hedge.
The postman and I got to the same point in the road at the same time and he, myself, his Vesper, my BMX and the people’s mail were scattered across in the road. Not hurt and not wanting to feel the pain both grandmothers might inflict, I started to cry in the attempt to get some pity and all he said was: “You understand what I mean now?”
We picked up the mail and that was our secret till now.
But the whole thing reminds me of John 18 and 19 where Jesus is reported to have told Simon Peter, “Truly, Truly I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”
Yes as children we give little thought to the things we do and we show no distinction between stunts that could cause us a cut, a broken limb or even death.
Then we get older and if we are wiser we begin to value life and realise that we are being led and guided or rather that we need to be led and guided.
The greater picture here is that as immature or childish Christian we do whatever we want. As mature and not necessarily “old” Christians we can appreciate that all we have come through the grace of and from God. It is He who leads and guides us and we cannot depend on our own strength.
Actually we should submit ourselves to doing the will of God and being led as mature Christians.
While we should allow children to be children we should also do the mature thing and set good examples. It is okay to tell them what to do, but our loudest and most impactful testimony is when we do the right thing for them to see and hear.