A Methodist Youth
Christian Faith & Formation in Rural Alabama by Maclin Horton
Casting about for a way to open this recollection of the church of my youth, I found myself reaching for the words that might be used by a wealthy or famous person giving tribute to his roots. Phrases such as "what (or who) I am today" and "my present position" rattled around in my mind. Since I'm neither wealthy nor famous, this struck me as strange until I realized that it must mean that I have, as the jargon goes, internalized the knowledge of my position as a possible heir to the kingdom. I do in fact feel that to have reached old age as a reasonably faithful Christian constitutes a considerable distinction.
Moreover, and in contradiction to the literal meaning of the word "distinction," it can be had by anyone for the asking, and so does not, or at least should not, produce any personal pride in the holder. It is the perfect answer to that desire we all have (born of the inner certainty of our fundamental weakness and emptiness) to pass through life with the knowledge that we have accomplished something.
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