Stepping Stones

By Thomas Noe, Executive Director, Tupelo Christian Academy Isn't it strange that princes and kings And clowns that caper in sawdust rings And common folk like you and me Are builder of eternity Each is given a set of tools A shapeless mass and a book of rules And each must build are life is flown A stumbling block or a stepping stone - Poem by R. L. Sharpe This poem has always been one of my favorites. It speaks to me of the incredible responsibility that I have to equip my own children and those who have been placed in my care during the day. I'm looking across the campus of Tupelo Children's Mansion this morning, thinking of this responsibility. It's not uncommon for children at Tupelo Christian Academy to go out of their way to say hello to me during the day. In fact, I enjoy visiting the lower grades from time to time because to them I'm great, powerful, and cool. That will wear off in the imagery of their minds by 7th grade. Nevertheless, I will enjoy it while I can. It is easy to become busy and lose sight or overlook the responsibility I have to equip the children around me to endeavor to make their lives a stepping stone to greatness rather than a stumbling block to others. My wife and I have had the privilege to personally adopt three children. Roy, Michael, and Mark are great young men. My wife and I are blessed that God placed them in our lives. I know the challenges that children have when they lose those early years and the hold that that trauma has on them. I can recall an incident when Mark was three years of age when we first adopted him. I would find him in a fetal position in the corner of his closet every morning. This went on for about a year. It would break our heart to see him do this, or to see Michael wringing his hands non-stop at the age of four. My wife and I spent those first few years nurturing, holding, praying, loving, and training those boys. They mean so much to us. They are builders of eternity. They are the heritage of the Lord. You never know what a child is going through or what they have been through. Let’s pray today that we will be sensitive to the needs of children around us. A kind word, time spent, and an encouraging word go a long way in the daily lives of those around us.