William Layton Nelson takes us to his childhood home at Mount Horeb, St James Jamaica. He calls it his "Shrine In the Valley"
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Shrine In the Valley

I guess after people have lived for a period of years; they automatically accumulate their own wealth of memories. Those memorable days during our younger years, without realizing what was going on at the time, we were timely erecting unduplicated structures with several compartments in the memory banks of our minds. Now that we have aged a little, many of us have shrines, some of which are as high as Mount Everest, if not higher, and as vast as the Sahara desert. How intriguing it is to know that it is impossible for those who are on the outside, to see what is going on in the minds of other people.

Today I want to invite you to journey with me to a religious shrine, sitting in a valley at Mount Horeb, St James Jamaica. Maybe your curiosity is bubbling by now. Maybe you are asking; are you saying that there is a shrine at Mount Horeb, St James? How can that be? Maybe some are even saying that I have lived there all my life and there is no such shrine. The answer is yes my friends! I was a student there. As a child I sat at the feet of some Christian teachers, they were people who took interest in my temporal and spiritual growth and although most if not all has been deceased, even unto this day I can still see their faces in the memory of my mind.

Now journey with me if you will, commencing at Calendar Square. Let us head downward toward Mount Horeb, emerging from between those two high banks on either sides of the road. It seems as if I can still hear the melodious singing coming from the direction of the shrine. I recall being with our parents and while still in our descent of the hill, if we should hear these words echoing in the air. “There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can view it afar, for the Father waits over the way, to prepare us a dwelling place there. In the sweet bye and bye, we shall meet on that beautiful shore. In the sweet bye and bye, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” That would tell us for sure, that Sabbath School has already been started; that was the theme song.

This place I am talking about, sits between Basgrove and the house of the late Dan Blake. Oh, you mean the Seventh-day church? Yes and no my friends. Yes, maybe a church for some but for most of us who passed through its doors, to us that place is more than just a church; it’s a religious shrine! Our social lives were very special also; they are unforgettable. To this day, those things of long ago are still visible in the memories of our minds. Is someone trying to let me forget to mention the roasted Breadfruits and yam? Yea Mon! To go with that, we would use some butter or red herring.

By the time I reached the age of twelve though, I was spending more time at home and on the farm than what I was in the classroom. It reached to the boiling point, where I hated going to school. I officially took up my needle, thimble, tape measure and scissors. I said goodbye to the shrine, the classrooms, and to my classmates. Of my schoolmates, many stayed in school and pursue their ambitions; some even climbed to the mountain of higher education. Bless their souls.

Since Those memorable days, I only came across a few of them but for many years I have been having this longing to see, and to be with those people I knew since long ago. I realize that the more I aged is the more intense the yearning becomes. My brother Henry and I have been talking extensively about this longing feeling for quite some time now. I am so thankful that he keeps me informed on how I can reach some of those folks. Our hope is and I am sure others are wishing the same way also, we are hoping that somehow we will have the chance to get together again, a grand reunion. This coming July the weekend of the 23rd we will be celebrating our first School reunion and I am hoping to be there, by the grace of God.

Let’s face it, we cannot go back and correct all the mistakes we have made. Likewise we just cannot step into the future, place things in the exact place where we want them to be when we get there. Each one of us has to walk the walk on the highway of life. You know each time, I discus those days of long ago with others, I get very excited. The lives we have lived so far, they may not be what we have hoped for to the latter but praise God we live through His goodness. My prayer is that all of us will strive to meet in heaven, and we will be able to do so because of the redeeming blood of Jesus. We read in Mathew 20. 28. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

We have sweet memories of those times we spent at the Shrine in Mount Horeb, but our Father has provided a way wherein we can obtain happiness for all eternity.
He is not a bully; He has given us freedom of choices. The choices we make here and now, will determine the kind of journey we will take, and where our final
destination will be when all the darkness, fears, and disappointments will be banish forever. I would love to live throughout all eternity. Yes, there we will
experience the freedom from pain and death wouldn’t you?

I am hoping to see you soon, if not here in beautiful Jamaica, then let us plan on meeting at that one of a kind, glorious golden shore. The homecoming at the
Shrine, on the other side of Glory Land!

God blesses.William Layton Nelson. / May, 2005.
I Promised God Ministries.
Arlington, Texas 76006

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William LaytonNelson