True Religion has Deep Roots

"You can't make kids religious, they say, because it just won't take. Send kids to Sunday school and they too often end up hating it and the church. Don't you believe it. As far as I'm concerned, and I think as far as most kids go, once religion sinks in, it stays there - deep down. The kids who get religious training, get it where it counts - in the roots. They may fail it, but it never fails them."

What religious nut, you may be asking yourself, said that? It was none other than George Herman Ruth.

Babe Ruth had a tough start in this life. He lived in a room over a bar that his father owned and spent much of his childhood on the street. He said he hardly knew his parents. He ended up in St. Mary's Industrial School, a combination orphanage and reform school for the bad little boys. There he met Brother Matthias, an instructor who taught him about God and baseball. At first, it seemed, that it was only the lessons in baseball that took.

For years, Babe Ruth was the greatest player in America's biggest sport, in fact, he was to become what most consider to be the greatest player of all time - in any sport. He played hard and he lived hard, keeping to the "bad boy" behavior of his youth. He later commented on his disappointment in himself for letting the boys down by his lifestyle. He said that he was so anxious to enjoy himself that he guessed he just forgot the rules - or ignored them. This all came to an abrupt halt when illness struck and he found himself facing major surgery. It was then that a lifelong friend came to him and asked him if it wasn't time to get his house in order.

That's when the truly important lessons of his childhood came into focus, and George Herman Ruth did his best to put his house in order. Some years later, a few weeks prior to his death, Babe Ruth penned the lines you read above. It was so important to him, as his own life was drawing to an end, to speak of religion... true religion that does not leave you, even if you should leave it for a time.

Those of us who are parents would all love for our children to accomplish something important in this life - maybe even something as monumental as the Babe. If so, that's wonderful - by all means have your kids pursue excellence. But, don't ever forget where true excellence starts and ends - with true religion. Do you have such a faith... where it truly counts?

Do your children?

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6, NIV