I have no idea who the author might be, nor do I know the title of this poem, however there is a lesson contained in it of which all parents should be aware. As parents, God has given us a grave responsibility in the training of our children (Eph. 6:4) and this short poem expresses better than I ever could the seriousness of this responsibility.

I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.
I came again when days were past;
The bit of clay was hard at last.
The form I gave it still it bore.
But I could change that form no more.
I took a piece of living clay
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art,
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.
I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress wore,
And I could change it never more.

Parents have the power to mold young lives as they please. They must understand an awesome responsibility is given to them. There are many things in this life which depend on the way we mold these lives: the church, the community, and the country, just to name a few. When we realize this, are we still so unconcerned about where our children are and what they are doing? I would suggest one of the basic causes of the trouble in our country today is the unconcerned attitude of parents toward the training of their children. Only when parents wake up to their God given responsibility will the church, community, and country be as they should be. Consider carefully what the writer had to say on rearing children (Prov 22:6; 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14). Parents must realize that they are molding the future generation, and once it is molded it cannot be changed. Sobering thought, isn’t it?