I have met some very remarkable, even very extraordinary young people. Here are some from early history of our country; in fact these first four were signers of the Declaration of Independence.

George Wythe was three years old when he began a study of the classics. Benjamin Rush, “The Father of American Medicine,” was fourteen when he graduated from Princeton. Thomas Jefferson was nine when he began the study of Latin, Greek, and French; at sixteen, he entered William and Mary College. William Livingston was living among the Mohawk Indians as a missionary when he was fourteen. At eighteen, he graduated at the top of his class at Yale.

Then there were those like President Andrew Jackson who was serving in the Continental Army during the American Revolution when he was thirteen. At fourteen he was taken by the British as a prisoner of war. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was a cattle driver at nine and a legendary Indian fighter by eleven. Charlie Miller was a bronco buster at eight and a Pony Express rider at eleven.

Youth is also an opportunity to start a meaningful walk with God. The preacher of old counsels the young, Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.” (Eccl. 12:1, NIV)

Paul gives Timothy this advice to a young man, Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (I Timothy 4:12, NIV)

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.