In 2018 I was able to enjoy several children’s dedication services. One was my grandson. That was special.
Also in 2018, one of the books I read was Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. I enjoyed his story, the key political roles he played in various ways with my home nation, the United States of America, and his many inventions, many of which we still use today.
One of the first testimonials he wrote in the book was this, “And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence… My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness… [and] my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless…”
While his older brothers were placed into apprenticeships (differing trades) by his father, Benjamin was placed into grammar school. The reason? Benjamin wrote that his father intended to, “…devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church.” His father believed that he needed as much education as he could receive for that service.
Benjamin’s faith followed him in all he set out to accomplish. Perhaps it was his father’s dedicating him to the service of the Lord that helped to hold him to that relationship. With the many trials and tribulations, losses and shattered dreams he encountered, late in the book he wrote, “I at present think that whoever attempts this aright, and is well qualified, can not fail of pleasing God, and of meeting with success.”
He then provides some thought to what he called, “…the substance of an intended creed.” And perhaps these are his overwhelming convictions of life in his day.
That there is one God, who made all things.
That He governs the world by His providence.
That He ought to be worshipped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving.
But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.
That the soul is immortal.
And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.
A life dedicated. A son tithed. Who knows where God may lead our children or where a young life, that we have the opportunity to touch, will go?