UP ON WALTON’S MOUNTAIN
Following the surgery on my shoulder, I have had a great deal of nausea. For several days I was unable to focus enough to read much or write. During that time I watched a few hours of mindless TV. One program that I was interested in was called “Bible Challenge.” The questions that were asked were simple, Bible questions. Many of our Sunday school children at the Walnut Street Church of Christ could have answered every question. I also watched two episodes of “The Waltons.” To my credit, I did not watch Judge Judy or Nancy Grace. This is just my own, personal opinion, but these two appear to be mean women! I was reminded of a few life lessons up on Walton’s Mountain.
Up on Walton’s Mountain, I was reminded of the fact that suffering and death comes to everyone. Grandpa Walton was long dead and buried on a hillside on the mountain. Death is an appointment for everyone. (Hebrews 9:27) John and Libby had moved to Arizona because she was sick and having trouble breathing. Sickness is nothing new. “And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.” (Genesis 48:1) Do not be surprised when sickness and death comes your way!
Up on Walton’s Mountain, I was reminded that what we do affects generations to come. A fourth generation Walton, a little boy about six years old, told his family about a friend he met with, often on the mountain. The family was astonished, as they looked at some old photographs, as the young boy identified a picture of their long, dead Grandpa Walton as the friend that he met with on the mountain. None of us would believe that such happens today. However, we strongly believe that what we do affects coming generations. If we walk with God, many will follow our steps, even generations to come. “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children.” (Psalms 103:17)
Up on Walton’s Mountain, I was reminded that there have been crooks in every generation. One of the Walton boys was learning to be a mechanic. The occupation of being a mechanic is a good profession. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Ephesians 4:28) An older man sold this young Walton boy some used car parts. He deceived him, because the parts were junk. This man needed to remember that, “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.” (Proverbs 20:17)
Up on Walton’s Mountain, I was reminded that bootleggers are found in every community. On Walton’s Mountain two dignified, elderly ladies made and sold home brew. Bootlegging was the profession of their family for several generations. They talked about “The Recipe” being in their family for at least four generations. These two elderly women drank themselves; they also sold or gave their brew to others on the mountain. When will people ever learn the harm done by alcohol and other drugs? “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
Up on Walton’s Mountain, Elizabeth, the youngest daughter among the Walton girls, manifested a terrible attitude. Elizabeth was very discontent with her situation. Mama and Daddy Walton had to live in Arizona because of Olivia’s health. Elizabeth’s brothers and sisters were getting married and some of them were moving away from the house and the mountain. She whined and complained about everybody and everything. I wanted to say to her, “Girl, things changed.” “Get over it!” Things do change, so we must live in the moment and enjoy the blessings that God has sent today. “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24)
Up on Walton’s Mountain, John Walton was still respected as the head of his family. It was God’s plan that “Man” be the physical and the spiritual leader of his family. When John returned to the mountain for a Thanksgiving visit, he found several issues among his children. He gave advice, confronted their issues and was loved and respected. It was obvious that John Walton was the head of his family. Today, men are made to look like blithering idiots who could not even put air in a tire by themselves. Men need to step up and be what God intended for the home and for the church. (Ephesians 5:23-25, 1 Corinthians 11:3). Our world is crying out for godly men to stand up as leaders.
Up on Walton’s Mountain, all the people attended one church. On the mountain and also in the Bible there was only one church! (Ephesians 1:21-23, Ephesians 4:3-6) Those on Walton’s Mountain got that part right. It was obvious that they did miss some Bible truths. For example, they called their preacher “Reverend” or “Pastor.” In the New Testament such expressions as “Reverend” or “Pastor” or “Father” are nowhere to be found when applied to preachers. (Psalm 111:9, Matthew 23:9) One of the Walton boys, I think Ben, played the piano or organ in the worship. He also owned the “Dew Drop Inn,” the local restaurant and bar. He played the piano there also. The kind of music God chose for church worship is singing. (Ephesians 5:19) They did not partake of the Lord’s Supper, each Sunday, like Christians did in Bible days (Acts 20:7) Remember, the Bible, not our personal desires, is the standard by which we must worship and serve God
Life on Walton’s Mountain was simple when compared to our life. We might all be better if we would return to that simple kind of life. God’s plan of salvation is simple. If you are not a Christian, God’s plan is simple. You must believe in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repent of your sins (Acts 17:30), confess Jesus before others (Romans 10:10) and be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) Then, live for God until death or until the Lord’s return. (Revelation 2:10)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037