In youth life beats with its fastest pulse, the powers mature with quick unfolding, and almost before we are aware of what has happened, the boys and girls of yesterday meet and greet us as the men and women of the present…..
The Bible is true to the literary instincts and the experience of men in assigning a special value to this period of our career. The experience of youth suggest the vision of the ideal; the young men of a nation are conceived of as its greatest treasure; and the renewal of youth is regarded as the greatest blessing that comes from the Divine hand. Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth,” thus intimating that youth stands in special danger of bringing itself into disrepute. It has its own peculiar faults. Its follies have become proverbial. It lacks knowledge and discipline and restraint. It squanders its magnificent energies with the utmost prodigality. It is careless, restless, impulsive, assertive.
If we would discover the essential characteristic of the young, let us remember that the youth is he who has suddenly come into possession of prodigious and unexpected energies. Not slowly do these powers develop within us; they come, rather, as Minerva is fabled to have sprung from the head of Jupiter, full grown and fully equipped. They are forced upon us long before we have gained any adequate idea of that outer world to which they must be adjusted; and for the time being they seem to defy restraint. It would be strange indeed if this sudden development did not give rise to faults and follies, as well as to noble ambitions and generous enthusiams.
In like manner the accumulating energies of youth are bound to spend themselves in some way; and where no safe and regular occupation is afforded, they are liable to break through all restraints and run riot in the most wanton manner. In the experience of the race it is generally the young who sound the deepest abysses of profligacy and shame. No one expects wild oats to be sown by greybeards. If you continue long without some legitimate outlet for your energy, there will be a terrific explosion some day, and a consequent moral wreck.
To train the energies to harmonious and concentrated action, is a more difficult feat than to train a dozen fiery colts to charge abreast in a ring.
Charles Henry Keays, M.A. - Photo by Mark Skalinski