Teachable Moments ©

This weekend we had five grandkids at the farm for a couple days. Last night, when most of the others were headed home, Luke, 8 and Reagan, 9, asked if they could stay another night. After appropriate consultation with their parents, we said “Yes”. By the way, last week a reader wrote me after my Mother’s Day Celebration column, with concern we were not taking proper Covid precautions. Just a note here to let you know we quarantined from our kids and grandkids for at least a month before getting together. And this is on top of all the extra precautions for staff and caregivers at Visiting Angels®.

Back to Luke and Reagan. After a full day at the farm, including catching three fish just before dinner, they were stalling when it came to be bedtime. In fact, they both crawled in bed next to me and I sensed a Teachable Moment.

What is a Teachable Moment? It’s a set of random circumstances when time, opportunity, interest, curiosity and truth converge to impart some sort of truth and wisdom from one person, especially a senior, to another, often a grandchild. But it can be from adult to adult too. You just need to have your “Antenna up” so you can sense and seize the opportunity.

In this case the opportunity came in the form of a “New” college textbook that was on my bed stand. I “Salted the oats” of their imaginations by explaining to them that the book I was about to share with them was the most valuable book I ever had assigned to me in 10 years of college and graduate studies at five different universities. This got their attention. But they were totally surprised when I reached for the book on my nightstand that resembled a comic book. It’s called “The Panorama Bible Study Course” by Alfred Thompson Eade, first copyrighted in 1947. It was a required textbook supplement for an Old Testament survey course I enrolled in at LeTourneau University in 1963. It looked kind of “Cheesy” to me at the time; little did I know then how valuable it would become to me as the years have passed by. By far, I have referred to this book more than any other text or book from any course at any school on any subject!

It’s a graphical presentation of the bible from beginning to end with the highlights of human history shown along a time line including the bloodline of Christ. So, for the next thirty minutes or so, we did indeed stall their bedtime as we walked all the way through the bible from Genesis to Revelation. They were really intrigued to see where the bible stories they have learned from their parents and in Sunday School fit into the overall history of mankind in the bible. They not only got an overview of the bible and how major historical events fit into it, but perhaps equally important, they saw that the bible is not just a dusty old book on Pop Pop’s shelf, but a book of instruction for how to live life. Priceless! And hopefully, lasting truth for both of them to use in life.

Teachable Moments are to be seized upon by us seniors for imparting the wisdom of our years into the pliable lives of our grandkids. Don’t miss them!

PS I wish I could tell you where you could order a copy of “The Panorama….” I described above but I’m afraid it’s out of print. If you find one, seize it too. I just bought mine used on Amazon for $40; it was a bargain to me! But I’m sure you have teachable treasures on your shelves too.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at william.mercylink@gmail.com or search for us at

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