This past Sabbath was full of meaning, and deep thought for me. Full of sadness, hope, solemn thoughts, and awakenings. It started at 4:00 P.M., at the memorial service for a young, 14 year old girl, that our family has known for over half her short life. While canoeing a nearby flooded river with her family, she and her younger brother decided to go on a bit further, after her Mother and Grandmother got out of the boat. Not long after, the boat capsized. Young Joseph Enquist made it safely to shore, as he was wearing his life jacket. Laura was not wearing hers, and she didn't make it. It has now been several weeks, and she has still not been found. What a tragedy! What sadness for the broken members of her family! But also, there is comfort in this great trial, because she was baptized only 10 weeks previous to the accident. She had shown signs of a growing connection with Christ, and love for Him. Throughout the memorial service, at which I believe there were around 400 in attendance, there was much opportunity for questions. Deep questions. Am I ready? What if today were my last? What kind of legacy would I leave behind? I know I don't feel ready. Yet we must not go off of our feelings. Still, I know I am not ready. Which leads me to the next part of my Sabbath experience. After the service, I recognized some friends, a man and his wife, whom I hadn't seen in years! I was really happy to see them, as I have always enjoyed talking to this man. He has always been willing to talk about things that most others aren't, things that matter to young people. As I was talking to him, in the course of our conversation, he said something that I have not been able to shake out of my head since. It was along these lines: “You know, I think God wants men of integrity.” Why did that come up? We had been talking about how so many men these days are so much like predators. And Women also. Why? Why is it this way, even in our precious church? God wants men and women whom their fellow church members can feel safe with. Men that will lead their families in the paths of right. Men who will not be bought or sold. In fact, this is the greatest want of the world! “The greatest want of the world is the want of men,--men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”--Education, p. 57. Where are these men? Who will fill the position? What is a man of integrity? “Men must have moral backbone, an integrity which cannot be flattered, bribed, or terrified.” 5T 297.1
My friends, will we choose through Christ's infinite strength, to be men and women of integrity? To be transparent in all that we do? I have been burdened with this in my own life since that time, asking myself, 'Am I a young man of integrity?' It is a serious thought, that each of us should ask ourselves. The encouraging thing is, that I can choose, today, to be a man of integrity. Will you join me in this challenge? The world is waiting for a church of integrity, but it starts in the home. Will we, through Christ's strength, take the challenge? I hope we all will choose this path. Meanwhile, I would love to talk to any of you about this subject. We must encourage each other, because the way is often hard, very hard, especially for young people. We need each other, and most of all, our Lord. Praise God for His promises! We can be conquerors. Will you join me in striving to this end?
Your brother, friend, and fellow soldier in Christ,