(From "The Woodcock Whirl", my elementary school newspaper, April 1965)
"My grandfather has a farm. I go to his farm every spring. He has some chickens. He lives in Atmore. I like my grandfather's farm very much.
- Glen Davis, Mrs. Wilburn's class, Grade 2.
First, I know what you're all thinking. "Wow, Glen was a much better writer back in those days!" I concur, and only hope to one day regain lost glories of style, clarity, and content. :)
The reason I suggest in the title of this message that my first literary foray may have constituted my first devotional involves the effect my grandfather's farm had - and still has - in my life. I not only spent time in the spring on the farm, but also visited during the summers and Christmas seasons. For many reasons, I look back on those times as spiritually formative, particularly because my paternal grandmother was a very religious woman. A bit on the stern side in spiritual matters, she nevertheless showed me the love of Christ in ways an eight year old boy needed to see. When I think of her, I realize she helped to form in me the truth of how serious a matter faith in God involves. As we often suggest, salvation in the Lord Jesus provides the freest gift ever given. It came to us, however, through the highest cost ever remitted - the sacrifice of the Savior - and thus must be received with the utmost seriousness if we are to genuinely avail ourselves of God's grace. "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).
The content of my 2nd grade essay does not speak of my grandmother, but rather of "my grandfather's farm." I view this as an oversight (or perhaps a savage assault on my literary masterpiece by some ruthless elementary school editor!). I seem to have been quite taken with the chickens (again, the editor must have slashed mention of the cows, whom I liked much better). Most importantly, I affirm the affection for a special place that I still feel in my heart today. I passed this on to my family, to whom mention of "the farm" refers only to the ten or so acres just outside Atmore, Alabama. We all view my grandfather's (and grandmother's) farm as a gift from God to our family. Long after my grandparents' passing, we often visited this place of my childhood that became a place of my own children's childhood. Something awaited them there in the 1980s and 90s, just as it had for me in the 1960s. I believe it to have been God, although I couldn't see it - Him - when penning my first essay.
The words from so long ago feel very "devotional" to me. I know the effect my grandparents, their farm, the chickens (and the cows!) had on me. The Lord certainly met me there, and touched my heart in ways that led later in life to His entrance into my heart. So, I'll consider my masterpiece as "Orange Moon No. 1." And, for your sakes, I'll seek to return to those "lost glories" of better composition, even as I give thanks for more important glories that came to my heart and will forever remain through the grace of the Lord Jesus and His influence on my grandfather's (and grandmother's) farm.
"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."
Weekly Memory Verse
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.