Growing up the youngest child has its advantages, and one of those is to watch your siblings as they go through the rites of passage. A friend offered this example of watching each of his sisters graduated from high school. As each sister reached this milestone, they were given the traditional gift of a suitcase and a watch. 
He then waited his turn wondering if he would get the same gift. Sure enough, when the big day came, he too received the traditional package; one suitcase, and one watch. He had never understood the meaning of the gift, so he asked dad why. 
His dad’s reply was simply, “it’s time to go.” 
This story was told to me by a good friend, and I have thought about it through the years. Seems that his dad was not one to get too hung up on the empty nest syndrome, but in fact, there was more to it. Jerry’s dad had spent years preparing his kids for this day. 
So much in fact that when the big day arrived, it wasn’t that he was pushing them out of the house, he was excited for what they would accomplish. 
As we have recently sent another class through the process, we reflect on their early years, get teary-eyed watching as they somehow jump from little kid to adult in the blink of an eye, but one thing should be certain; they should be ready. 
If we have done our job right as parents we can be swift to send them into the world, prepared for the great adventure that awaits them. We should have also built a foundation that includes a faith that should not waver. We should have taught them by example how to pray, how to worship, and how to engage their faith.
For some, that process is still ongoing, and so I would challenge those with children still growing up, it’s not too late to begin laying that foundation. 
In fact, the good people of Fairbury have joined together to offer a place where young children and teenagers can go and experience the love of Christ. 
All summer you will see Vacation Bible Schools, as well as a unique opportunity called Five Star Bible Camp. These places offer a starting point, or a place to continue to build on the foundation of faith that will give us the confidence to say, “it is time to go.”
I encourage all of those with children, whatever the age, to check out the wonderful opportunities within our community for your child to learn what it means to have Christ in their hearts. 
If you need more info on the programs offered, call your church, call our church, but make some plans to get your child on solid ground. Then you too will be ready to say; “it’s time to go.”
Dr. Howard Law 
Pastor Zion Countryside (Fairbury/Gladstone)
Pastor St. Paul Church (Jansen)