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Whom are we relying on to pass along truth from generation to the next generation?

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Holly McLaneLately, I've been thinking about breadcrumbs. No, not the irritating ones that stick to my bare feet when teenage linebackers raid my kitchen, but the lifesaving kind from the storybooks of my youth. As children, we knew intuitively that those breadcrumbs were crucial to the outcome and that once our favorite character found the right trail of clues, all would be well again, and the story would have a happy ending.

So, maybe it's that I'm at that age where more stories about biopsies than newborn babies are coming through my inbox. Still, it's causing me to notice that the further we stray from that childlike wisdom that tells us to turn around and follow the path back home, the more confusing life can get because we give more attention to voices in the dark shadows telling us to "go here" or "like this," "do what feels good" or "follow that." And this circuitous journey can often make navigating the tricky stuff of life a lot harder and more painful than it needs to be.

Friends and loved ones who are living through adversity right now have shown me over and over that it's the church pews and the prayer chains that stand the test of time; those yellow-brick-road stepping-stones that, whether the mortar is still fresh or worn thin from overuse, provide a path back to what is true. There's just something about being human that causes hope to return when we remember what's essential, tracing our way back to the basics of why we were created and by whom.

So, why the breadcrumb analogy, you ask? It's because I keep thinking about the children in our communities. Former generations taught us how to return to the simplicities of faith, hope and love in times of plenty and want. But whom are we relying on to pass along truth to the next generation? Let's never stop asking that question!

And, as the new school year begins, let's point our young people in the direction of a few in Crook County who are offering some of the bread that forever satisfies. The folks who spearhead Young Life deserve our financial support and applause, as do the countless families who have elected to set aside time spent on the couch to serve instead as coaches, foster or adoptive parents for kids who need a haven from the storm. These mentors are pointing our youth toward a path that will, likely, keep them far away from the back roads of mediocrity and M.I.P. citations. But, most importantly, they are showing by example how to build a trail of manna that will lead those same kids out of the wilderness should they ever find themselves there.


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