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'Christ is still my measuring stick' - Keneice Lawson keeps it real

Published:Saturday | January 30, 2016 | 1:00 AMTamara Bailey

Mandeville, Manchester:

In Proverbs 22:6, the passage says 'Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it'. Our young Christian this week personifies this scripture, not because she hasn't fallen many a time, but because she always goes back to the foundation of Christian values that was laid by her parents, specifically her mother.

Keneice Lawson knew what it felt like from a tender age to be passionate about ministry and to act on that passion - not as a result of authoritative influence, but out of the genuineness of her heart.

"I was an active child preacher at home in our worship sessions - props and all," she said laughing, "at church, and on my verandah to my neighbour, who sadly died before he ever made it to church with me after promising to do so many times. But my mother never forced the concept of church and church involvement. She made it seem fun and if I did anything wrong, she would ask me if Jesus would be pleased. I don't think that kind of thing works today, (lol). But it worked for me. So from back then I knew I wanted to please God."

Eager to get baptised at the age of four, her mother decided it was not the time, but two years later, the 'rebel with a cause' took the brave step.

"Each year, I would ask and she would refuse and I would slip the form between the couch cushions. For two years, this continued until age six when I heard a presentation - on what, I don't remember? By whom? No clue! But I remember bawling my eyes out and I knew then I wanted to be baptised! Again, my mother's answer was no. Let's just say, the day I was baptised, my mother wasn't informed until minutes before," said Lawson with a grin across her face.

But did the passion that Lawson had as a little girl blossom into fervent desire to be in the Lord's will?

"It has been rough! There is no experience quite like it. Sometimes you feel charged with the word and you're on a high and then 'braps', something hits you out of nowhere! I can't begin to tell the many times I've been upset with God! I've cursed Him off and literally kept good, long sessions of malice with God and then He shows me up - me and my foolishness - and I crawl right back!"

She added, "There are many times I feel He isn't listening. There are many times I don't understand what He's doing and I get so frustrated. But time and time again I see Him move in marvellous ways in my life. Every time I doubt, He shows me up. Many may credit chance or luck. What is that? Each time I am able to claim a victory in my life or a lesson - even the hard ones like humility and obedience - I see distinctly the work of God in situations that no one or nothing has foreknowledge of but Him!"

Despite her reliance on God, Lawson admits that she sometimes forgets that God is in control.

"You know that song 'Jesus Take the Wheel'? I am often a backseat driver. I love to claim I am allowing Him to drive, but I am in the back screaming the directions. It doesn't work like that! The hardest thing is submitting my will to this being who I can't see physically but whom I have to believe has my best interest at heart. And the worst part is I am so stubborn! So I try to submit my desires regarding relationships, work, social activities, financial endeavours, but each time I slip in a little note 'I know you know what's best God, but I kind of want this'. It's easier said than done."

With a persistence to remain under the shadows of the Almighty, she has devoted special times for worship and has also embarked on reading the Bible from cover to cover.

"As an adult, I have come to accept Proverbs 22:6 because I was raised as a Christian and I have remained such. That, in no way, means I am perfect; it just means that, at the core, Christ is still my measuring stick."

"Moving to a new country was by God's orchestration. I didn't know what to expect. What I got for the first few months was complete seclusion in a jungle with limited connectivity to the outside world. It was there I learned to commune with God. There was nothing competing for my attention and I was able to dedicate more than a quickie devotional session to God. My environment has now changed and I am bombarded by distractions, but I make an effort to spend time with God. I am continuing a sputtering attempt to read the Bible from cover to cover. I am almost finished with the book of Joshua. Slowly but surely."

She ended "It is easy to accept what your parents tell you and what your church feeds you, but ultimately, it's a personal decision. You have to experience God on a personal level."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com