A simple letter. A simple symbol.
The key ring.
The Bible reference- Philippians chapter 4.
Some of the verses I have highlighted are often quoted, but they are for you. I even feel it is as if I am saying these things to you. But, they are on my heart for you and I just want you to be happy with who you are and all that you want to be.
The idea of steadfastness appealed to me and even a short reflection on what it means to be steadfast is something for you to ponder. Some common synonyms of steadfast are constant, faithful, loyal, resolute, and staunch. While all these words mean "firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance," steadfast implies a steady and unwavering course in love, allegiance, or conviction.
Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Thanks for Their Gifts
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Why a key ring?
Key rings are customarily given as a present on the 21st birthday. This tradition dates from the times when at twenty-one, you were considered old enough to be a key-holder to your family’s home, and thus hold a symbolical 'senior' position in the family. It's an old tradition that, some think, has long since become irrelevant and obsolete, but the symbolism of the key on the 21st birthday lives on.
I believe now is your “new beginning”. I don’t think waiting till you are 21 is the time for you to consider yourself as a leader of your life, as a leader in this family. Now it the time for you to forge your own path, with the heartbeat of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit guiding your way. Now is the time for your name to be yours, always with the knowledge the Modlin name carries a certain responsibility as well.
The key can be considered a symbolic gesture, bestowed upon distinguished persons and honoured guests for achievements of the highest importance. Giving someone the "key to Your Heart" will be a symbol of expressing a special trust and commitment.
So, how should you now live?
I am so proud of the man you have become and the man you will be. You have continued to show so much potential, but you do not want to spend your life with the label “potential”. Whatever career you wish to pursue, then pursue it with everything you’ve got. As a basketball player, where can you get to if you fully commit to this dream? If you want to have a great wife, family, friends and life, then pursue it with everything you’ve got.
If you want to have a relationship with God, then pursue it with everything you’ve got. I became a Christian when I was 17 and this chapter was one of the first things I read.Ecclesiastes 12
12 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” 2 Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.
4 Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
Concluding Thoughts about the Teacher
12 But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.
13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
God Bless you my son. Me and Mum love you more than anything. We will always be there for you, no matter what life throws at you. We will always be there ready to chat and help you.
Russell Modlin is in his 30th year as a Secondary English and Physical Education Teacher. He has taught in Mackay, Brisbane, Alice Springs and currently on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda (26 years) and they have three sons- 2 have finished High School, 1 to go!
Russell Modlin’s archive of previous article can be found atwww.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html