Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be careful! Hold the Rail.

When your children start driving, you always worry about them when they drive away from your home.  You worry that their car will break down.  You worry if their path will cross with some careless driver.  You worry if they will be careless.  And when they are late returning home, your worries begin to take form and walk the floor with you. 
When our daughter, Erin, was learning to walk down the front steps of our home by herself we would tell her to “Be careful.  Hold the rail.”  One day, my wife, Melanie, announced that she was going shopping and would be back in a few hours.  As she opened the front door of our home, Erin said, “Be careful, Mama.  Hold the rail.”  And this became a phrase that we would repeat to anyone that was leaving our home. 
Now that our children are grown, we still worry about them as they drive away, but it is a different kind of worry.  It is a worry about their general well being in a world that is often indifferent; a world that does not care if they are loved, or are happy, or are successful; a world that will crush them if they are not careful.
And so, as we watch our children drive down our driveway, we silently say to them, “Be careful.  Hold the rail.  Hold the rail of home and of family and of faith; hold the rail of who you are and how you were raised; hold the rail of love and of people who love you; hold the rail of gentleness and of happiness; hold the rail of acceptance and of humility and of encouragement; hold the rail of hope even if the whole world is against you, where loving arms will hold you, where a listening ear will always hear you; where a warm room always awaits you.  Hold all these things in the rail of your heart.” 
Be careful.  Hold the rail.  Good advice for anyone going out into the world. 

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