June 6, 2008

The Next Generation

This is something that hit my inbox recently and was originally published in "Our Daily Bread." As a preschool teacher and a guy with great Christian parents, it's obvious why this story touches me.

A man who played double-bass in the Mexico City Philharmonic told me that the finest instruments are made of wood that has been allowed to age naturally to remove the moisture. “You must age the wood for 80 years, then play the instrument for 80 years before it reaches its best sound,” said Luis Antonio Rojas. “A craftsman must use wood cut and aged by someone else, and he will never see any instrument reach its peak during his own lifetime.”

Many important things in life are “next generation” matters—teaching, training, and parenting are among them. The apostle Paul invested himself in people whose spiritual influence would continue long after he was gone. He wrote to Timothy: “The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Paul, Timothy, “faithful men,” and “others” represent four spiritual generations built on the enduring foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are we living only for today and the short term, or are we giving ourselves to others who will continue the faith after our race is run? Living for Christ and making disciples are all about the next generation.