Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

June 12, 2005


Grandchildren are reason enough for old folks to stay healthy


          There is a popular saying among preachers that “God has no grandchildren; he has only children.” The statement apparently originated with an Argentine evangelist, Luis Palau. Eventually Palau made a movie by that title, “God has no grandchildren.”

          Palau and other preachers mean that every person must choose to have faith in God.  Having Christian parents does not make one a Christian. Parents can influence their children but they cannot have faith in God for them. Becoming a child of God is a personal matter.

          Some people take issue with this position. A man said to me, “I have been a Christian all my life because I have gone to church since infancy.” He was confused. Going to church does not make one a Christian. One can become a Christian only choosing to trust Jesus Christ as Savior.

          While I agree with the assertion that God has no grandchildren, I must say that I am glad I have grandchildren. Dean and I have 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. We love each one of them.

          Now that I am semi-retired, I have more time to see my grandchildren. I especially enjoy going to some of their school events and watching them perform. Hannah is cheerleader at her school and a good one.      Joseph plays football and basketball at the same school. We enjoy cheering for them and listening to their parents scream louder than we do. Little sister Sarah is only seven and never gets very excited. Perhaps she is making mental notes about how she will perform when she is older.

          Jake and Josh are athletes who love to play baseball, basketball, and football. This summer I have sat under my straw hat sweating and pulling for these boys more than once. I admire their parents for the extra effort necessary to get them to practice several days a week and to games an hour early. It takes a lot of money and time to help your kids participate in athletics but in the long run, it is worth it. Later on the kids will realize that their mom and dad “did it for love.”

          Robert finished high school last month. His older brothers John and Anthony had been good athletes, a family tradition continued by Robert. We traveled up to Jemison to see those three grandsons play many games though football was our favorite. High school football can help young men become responsible, disciplined men. It helps them learn how to get back up after being knocked down and get back in the game of life.

          Attending high school graduations is not one of my favorite things. Many of them are held in football stadiums as Robert’s was. We contended with the heat, the crowd, and a million annoying bugs. The next time I am invited to a graduation in a stadium, I plan to beg off and send a check. School officials spend too much time yakking about three dozen small scholarships and not enough time applauding the work of the students.

          Our other grandchildren are grown, working, and raising families of their own. Garrett is a soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division and back at Fort Bragg, N.C., after serving four months in Iraq. He is a fine soldier, ready to go where he is needed. We don’t get to see him enough, and his daughter Zoey, now healed of leukemia, lives in Arizona.

          Garrett’s brother Mikey works in Montgomery. He is the top salesman wherever he works. We get to see him and his wife Abbi occasionally but not enough.  Clair is married. She and Matt have three fine sons and live near Greenville. Those three boys – Tyler, Walker Dean, and John Alex – have enough energy to run a train from New York to Miami. They wear me out just looking at them.       

          Matthew and Jodi have a daughter Annabelle and live in Ohio. We see very little of them though they did come to see us in May. I wish they would come more often so I could see Annabelle.

          Grandma and I love it when our grandchildren hug us. Hugs are scarce though when the little ones are not around very much. We all need to get together more often so grandparents can get hugs.

          God may not have any grandchildren but I am glad he made me so I can have some. Grandchildren are reason enough for old folks to stay healthy – so we can enjoy those hugs for a long time. + + + +