I recently attended a basketball game at Stephenville High School.  The Yellow Jackets and the Honeybees were playing and the gymnasium was packed.  During the half time show kindergarteners and first grade students from schools in the district were featured as the Players of the Future.

The youngsters demonstrated ball-dribbling skills, passing techniques and other various basketball proficiencies to the delight of parents, grandparents and other assorted family members.  It was no wonder the gymnasium was packed.

As I watched the game preceding the half time show I was enthralled by the Honey Bees demonstration of defense, offense and how they captivated and controlled the game.  They were forceful, centered and compelled to win. 

When the little guys and gals made their way onto the gym floor they, too, performed with an unconstrained focus that made one smile.  The only difference being they were smaller in stature and several years younger than the high school students.  Regardless, the desire and initiative was there.  They were, indeed, the “Players of the Future.”

Our kids, be them sports athletes, those striving for academic excellence, little cowboys or cowgirls, musicians, dancers or gymnast are our wish and guarantee for the days to come. 

We, as adults, are setting the stage and defining the world they will live in.  It is our job to make sure they have a strong and safe future and the foundation and path needed to make the world a better place to live.

My Bible teaches that “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him…blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” 

Kids are God’s gift and indicative he still believes in what we are doing.

As I watched the kids in the gym milling around there were all sizes, all shapes, all colors, all designs.  In short, I smiled as I realized it was God’s assurance we are still worth working with. 

As they made their way off the court they searched the stands looking for the familiar faces of mom and dad or grandma and grandpa or maybe Uncle Henry and Aunt Alice.  They were all smiles and tickled they had been in the spotlight for a mere few seconds. 

They are the players of the future.  They are the transformation of the old into something new and fresh that will stand the test of time.  They are the new proposed and restoration of better things.  They are our strength.

When the Honeybees returned to the court they were passionate about the second half.  They are high school students headed toward a new future and new roads of exploration.  I remembered being a high school senior and wanting to get on with my life.  I wanted to pursue all my dreams.

Our kids have great and attainable dreams.  It doesn’t matter if they are five, 15 or 20, their dreams matter.  It is our job to stop and take time to assure them everything they need to make their dreams come true.  It is our job to make sure the house stands on a strong foundation. 

My Bible also says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”  We have a tremendous responsibility.

Kids come first.  They deserve discipline and direction, they deserve love and they deserve our undivided attention.  They deserve a good education, security and the guarantee we will always be there for them and have time for them.  They deserve a strong supportive family, a safe haven to grow up in and all those other things that give them their best shot.

They are the players of the future.

As the half time show at Stephenville High School indicated they are the tradition keepers, the trendsetters, the dream makers and the anticipation and promise of the world to come. 

I’m proud of our kids.  They are excited and enthusiastic.  They always see positive and look for the best.

Work hard and commit to being all your kids think you are. We are responsible and molding the players of the future.

Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at 

melinda_clements@centurylink.net.