I am sure it is a summer thing; but when I was a kid, we ate a lot of sugar cane in the summer time, or I should say we gnawed on a lot of sugar cane stalks. Sugar cane, for those who may not know, is like bamboo, but thicker. You cut off a stalk and chew on pure sugar. It is not that bad when it is all you have; and, really, it was not all that bad.
Let me give you a fresh cut from my friend John. In John 3 he writes about his friend Demetrius. He says, “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone - and even of the TRUTH ITSELF. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.”
What is an imitator? The verb is always used in exhortations and always in the continuous tense, suggesting a constant habit or practice. It also means for the believer to follow. Today, as a father and a follower of Christ, this is the highest compliment we can have. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” A good report, a good reputation, and a good witness of His exemplary lifestyle was praiseworthy. John said in verse 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in obedience.” What an example of truth John was to Demetrius. His influence may be overlooked by some, but not me, especially today. As fathers, I pray that our influence is not overlooked and that we can strongly say, “Follow me as I follow Christ”.
John the Revelator was a lover of God, leaned on Jesus breast, was ultimately exiled to an island where they may have been able to shut him off from others, but they could not shut him off from God. That is the way it is with sugar cane. Each gnaw just gets sweeter and sweeter. You would have to agree, it is one thing for others to speak well of you, but quite another to have the truth itself testify of you. My father taught me to love my wife, my family, and my friends; and the sweetness of those things never get old.
So I think I will chew on this all week. Well, maybe, a month or so. That is the way it is with sugar cane. You can just keep coming back to it over and over again.
We believe in fathers!
Cleddie and GayNell