Monday, November 14, 2011

Investing in the Next Generation

Yesterday we were asked to bring our family in at the end of a Sunday School class that consisted of senior adults. They were all wanting to meet us and present us with a gift. Keith is friend's with the Sunday School teacher. He came to the first church that Keith pastored and did some deacon training for him. He is almost twice Keith's age, but very dear to him. Keith has always enjoyed being around men who are older than him. I think it is because he loves to learn and be mentored by men who are living out their faith.

At first, I will have to be honest, I felt silly walking in to this big class and standing in the front of all these people. I felt like we were the Duggar family :)! Even though, we are only half in size.  Was it pride that I was feeling? I felt like our family was on display and it was very awkward.  So this was the family that some had seen walking around the church. This was the family that all sat together during service. This was the family that had toddlers in tow and a mama about to pop! I stuffed down those feelings and walked inside the doors to the front of the class with all the children and Keith.

As the teacher introduced us and had Keith tell a little about where we have been and where we feel like we may be going, all those thoughts vanished and I had an overwhelming feeling of the Lord's presence. We were not a family on display and this was not for show. The class gave us an offering and told us how much they wanted to help us while we were here. They said that they knew they only had a short window of time with us and their desire was to invest in our family. These were adults who are in their last chapter of life. The last quarter. The last inning. Adults who know that their time with Jesus is drawing near. Although none of us know exactly when our time is, it is without question that when we near 70 we will be so much closer than when we were 30.  They showered us with encouragement. Even to the point to encourage the children by telling them that many have noticed them in the service and how well-behaved they are. Telling them that they are an example to so many others. ( Now, I have to tell you before you feel like I am implying our kids are perfect, when we got into the service early I looked up to see Joshua and Stephen fighting. Joshua would not let Stephen pass by and Stephen bent down and was soon to apply teeth to the leg when I firmly told them to stop. Keith had to take them to the bathroom and I thought, "wonder if they saw that"?!).

The reason I am sharing this is because, in the prayer that the teacher prayed over our family he said, "Lord, I know that by the time these kids are grown and you are using them for the advancement of your kingdom, most of us will be on the other side." They are eternity minded! Realizing that the investment they make in our family in different ways will outlive them. I have no doubt that we will be in their prayers and I am sooooo thankful for that. They see beyond themselves to me and Keith. They see beyond me and Keith to these children of ours. And, I believe they see beyond these children, to those who will come behind them. It reminds me of the words of a song...

"May all who come behind us find us faithful.
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave,
Lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful."

Are you eternity minded? Do you see beyond this life? And, are you sacrificing to invest in the lives of those who come behind us?

Thankful for senior adults who are making a difference for the cause of Christ,


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