Give Me That Old Time Religion
Religions Meaning To Me
That "Old Time Religion", that many of us were brought up and exposed to in the south, was an important part and played a vital role in my development, as I grew to become the person I am today. From the early age of two years old, I was taken to church and listened to my grandfather preaching from the pulpit before his congregation. One of my early memories was the day, at the age of four, walking from the seat beside my grandmother and scooting up to my grand dad who was in the midst of a thunderous sermon and sitting down in a tall chair next to him. He stopped in the middle of a sentence and stooped over to me and handed me a dime to be placed in the offering plate. Then without any formal ceremony, continued his sermon. My grandmother was horrified at first, but later, decided it was quite alright for me to have gone up to assist him. The people there at church got a chuckle and seemed to enjoy my presence there beside my grand father. He always led the church in a loud and melodious way with each hymn sung at his church. He took great pride in music and his piano, harmonica and guitar playing, will always be remembered by me as some of my fondest memories with my grand dad.
Sometimes my grandmother and he would team up and sing a duet of some of the old fashioned songs, that could have only got their origin in the south. My grand dad would often sit at his piano and play the harmonica which was fastened about his neck on a wire mount.The selection of his songs and his ability to play guitar and harmonica and switch to piano, was mind boggling to me as a youngster. He kept me entertained and got my fullest attention for years to come, as I grew up living just down the road from him. I went to church with him and also to another Baptist church as I grew older and began my schooling. My Sunday school teachers were always inspiring and taught me and my sisters about Jesus Christ and how He had given His life so that we could all be saved. We would all go to be with Him one day when He was ready. We sang "Jesus Loves Me","Jesus Loves the Little Children", and "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands", and many other songs that I still remember, and have sung to my own children as they grew up, and hopefully would pass it on to their own kids someday.
I remember singing in the church choir as I got older and often going out of town to sing and meet with other church choirs. I was always involved with the church and it has had a wonderful influence on my up bringing and life over my years on this earth. My grand father has had a big influence in my life. He told me that he wanted me to join him as a preacher of the gospel some day. Later, as I graduated from college and became a school teacher and worked with kids with special needs, I asked him if he was disappointed in me for not becoming a minister like him. He told me that he was very proud of me and that what I was doing with my life was even more important than what he had done. My grand dad showed me that he was always thinking of others feelings and not his own.
Some of my fondest memories as a child was when I got to visit the Black lady who was helping my mother look after us kids, when my mother was having an operation. The lady took my sisters and me to her local church and I got to have one of the greatest treats in my young life.There was preaching like I had never heard. There was singing like I had never dreamed about that day. The windows were open to the breezes and everyone held a fan in their hands and moved these back and forth, as the preacher gave his message of the day. There were no hymnals when the people sang their songs about God. They all knew the songs by heart and were exuberant in their singing of them. My sisters and I were accepted just as if we were members and everyone made a lot of to do about my little sisters curls and pretty dresses. We were sorry to see the time fly by and soon it was time to go back home. We got to visit one other time and really enjoyed the people and the joy that they gave to us back then.
I have tried to show my own children the importance of growing up in a church and how living the right life is what our God wants for us all. He also wants for us to pass this on to the generations to come. True goodness and the right kind of living comes from religion and this is why our God wants us all to worship and live a life devoted in serving Him. How we treat others and respect their own feelings and societies, cultures, and how they view creation is important. Our God wants us all to worship Him and follow His Son Jesus, who was sent to show the right path in reaching Heaven. "That Old Time Religion" is good enough for me and my family, and as for us, we will serve the Lord.