By Debra Whittington: QCS columnist
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.” 1 Chronicles 16:11-12.
The host class for this year’s Rattler Reunion was the class of 1975, which also happens to be the same year I graduated from high school. Although I graduated in another town, I still have much in common with those who grew up in Tucumcari. During the banquet, the class president shared events that took place during the years his classmates were students in elementary, junior high, and senior high classes.
We share world events that shaped our country. It was in the fall of the year we started the first grade when our nation was devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy. The presidency was again shaken when President Nixon resigned only days before we started our senior year. Miles apart, we shared a common bond through these events.
In the fall of 1974, Tucumcari played a football game against the team that would go on to be state champions. I thought how ironic it was that I, too, was at that game that night sitting with the band on the opposite side of the field. It was the first time I had ever been to Tucumcari. I had no idea that night that someday I would call Tucumcari home.
From world events to songs, to movies, and everything in between, the evening gave me an opportunity to take a look back on those years growing up. I thought about how I knew it all as a senior only to find out the next year that I knew very little.
Later that evening, a quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities came to mind. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . . .”
I can easily say that my school years were the best and worst of times although I lean toward the latter. My high school years were especially difficult for me, but now I can look back and see how even then the Lord was at work in my life. He used those difficult days to give me more compassion for others and to grow in character. I learned that high school wasn’t a popularity contest, but a time to develop skills that last the rest of one’s life. It is like Ecclesiastes:1 that says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
It is a good thing to remember those times because I am always reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness. It was during those years that He drew me near to Him and I realized that I needed to surrender my life to Him and make Him my Lord and Savior.
We need reminding of the Lord’s faithfulness because it is sometimes easy to forget all of our blessings.
The Israelites were notorious for their forgetfulness.
When the Lord brought them out of Egypt, it wasn’t long before they were moaning and groaning and wishing they had never left.
Years later, the writer of Psalm 106 writes in the first two verses, “Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?” He then goes on to tell of all the mighty acts of the Lord as the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt. Moses constantly reminded the children of Israel of what the Lord had done for them.
Although the Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, they eventually took possession of the Promised Land, a land of plenty.
They thought they had it made, but eventually forgot what the Lord had done and took everything for granted. It is important that we never take for granted what the Lord has done and continues to do in our lives. Psalms 77:10-12 sums it up so well, “And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
The best of times, the worst of times, while reflection is good, it is important to remember and share how the Lord helped us. As Christians, we have a common bond that despite our different experiences we can testify through it all, the Lord is with us.