In The News

Memphis must heed the clarion call of its youth, Part 1

By March 17, 2014 Comments

The Commercial Appeal/Editorial/My Thoughts, January 26, 2014

By Rosemary Barnes, MAM communications intern

In America, thousands of young African American boys go to bed and dream dreams full of hoops with million dollar contracts and endorsements dancing around their heads in the night seasons. This capacity to dream is a wonderful and awe inspiring thing. Scientists are yet studying the dynamics and the ability of the brain to imagine, inspire as we sleep. God, Himself, speaks about dreams saying, “In a dream, in a vision of the night…When deep sleep falls…Then He opens the ears… (Job 33:15a, b-16a)

But as a new day is birthed from the womb of the morning, all sleepers and dreamers must awaken to a much needed dose of reality. We have no farther to look than the television, newspaper, internet or any other media outlet to see that the dream that occupies many of our children’s imaginations is incredibly flawed. Drug use, moral issues, unbridled financial dissipation, lawless-ness, unchecked emotional outburst are just a few of the broad topics that are blasted in the media. With each revelation, we are progressively desensitized. It is fodder to be discussed around the water cooler, on Facebook pages, sports shows, even pulpits, but soon the tempest settles into an unpleasant storm, and then thankfully, a numbing breeze encompasses us until the next scandal erupts.

Is it not time for us to draw a line in the sand, or whatever place you dare, and say, “Enough is enough?”

Squelching the dreams and aspirations of any child is not the aim of this article. The goal is to rally a people to see the need to come alongside these precious ones and impart foundational instruction that will equip them to not only dream but have vision of the greater capacity that is within them.

What would this “foundational instruction” look like? Good question.

The word “foundation” speaks of first things. And the first things must be given a place of pre-eminence in any instructional strategy. The first and most needed is (and will always be) Christ Jesus.

Yes, many of you just shut down at the mention of that name. And yet, it is what it is.

In all humility, let us open our eyes and just accept the truth. We (public, private, institutional entities) have done everything we know to do in our own strength, innovative strategies, educational acumen, altruistic fits, etc., and the results are yet lacking. Why should the pride in our hearts keep us circling around the same mountains of futility, frustration and vanity?

That is a pretty strong indictment. But let’s reframe that into something a little more palatable. That which works in most arenas has always seemed to be birthed out of the multitudes of things that did not work. The efforts were noble, and the hearts were mostly without selfish agenda. And yet, they still did not work, but set the groundwork for what would one day work.

Isn’t that a better way of looking at this?

Find the better way in tomorrow’s blog.