Three things, I can remember three things. When Amy asks me to run to the store to pick up a few items, I can usually
remember three things. Once she adds the fourth item . . . I have to make a list. Most of the time, I can remember three things.
Three things. As I look back on my years at home, there are three things that Brian and Anna McCown taught their three boys. I do not know if it was a conscious decision to teach these three things or if these three things were what their life was and still is about. These three things made quite an impression on us.
Three things. These three things are still a major part of who I am and what I do. My life still revolves around these three things.
- Church. Church was not somewhere we went on Sunday’s and Wednesdays. Church was who we were. We were there every time the doors were open and many times they were not. Never did my parents get up on Sunday to decide whether we would be at worship or not, we were going to be there every time. Never can I recall Dad coming home on Wednesdays and suggesting we stay home because he was tired. Church. Dad taught adult classes, interpreted for the deaf, and served as a deacon. Mom taught children’s classes and volunteered at every event and worked every fellowship. They are still as involved in their late 70’s (sorry Mom, I said something about your age) as they were 30 years ago. Outside of assemblies, our family entertained church members at our modest house. Adults, youth, visiting preachers, summer interns, deacons, and elders. As a family we prayed together, had religious discussions together, and as children we played “church” and my brothers and I would have mock “debates” about what children consider important doctrines. Church is the first thing.
- School. Once all three boys were school age, Mom took a job as a secretary / receptionist at Escambia Christian School where the three of us spent most of our elementary and middle school years. We were their every day, unless we were truly sick. Mom and Dad made sure we completed our homework. WE completed our homework and projects, they NEVER did them for us. They would help if we asked, but the work was always ours. Dad would even create new math problems similar to the ones we were struggling with and not work out the ones on the homework. They would quiz us on our spelling words and we would challenge Dad with our S.A.T. vocabulary lists. Mom and Dad volunteered at school helping with fund raisers, festivals, fish fries, awards banquets, and spaghetti suppers. They worked concession stands while we played basketball or coed volleyball. School was a major part of our life.
- Family. The five of us. We ate supper together. We took vacations together. We camped together. We worked school events together. We worshipped together. Family. We attended ballgames to support our siblings. But not just the five of us were family. Our vacations were to visit Dad’s family in Ohio or to meet at a campground where Mom’s parents were camping. We spent holidays with family. Mom’s family lived in town and we spent time with her cousins, aunts, sister, parents, as well as folks we were probably related too, but I don’t know how. We were there for them and they were there for us. I spent more than one summer working for my grandfather when he was painting or digging ditches. Family was a priority.
Three things. Church, school, and family, these are the three things. Today as I look at my life these three things are still priorities. As a preaching minister church is an obvious thing. Since I am married to a teacher and volunteer at her school and the one our son attends, school is still a thing. Family is still of major importance. But as a look back it was not really these three things after all. It was one thing – LOVE.
Jesus said it this way, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31).
Three Things ONE Thing!