Friday, June 25, 2010

Learning How to Shine From the Young and Old

I've been thinking about young folks and old folks lately.  We have several young folks at the Kelly Spring Rd. congregation where I worship in North Alabama - good young folks.  Kids that are trying their best, I think, to do right and to encourage each other to do right. I've had the privilege of knowing a lot of these kids for most of their lives. They're the kind of kids that you just enjoy being around. When one of them gets up for the first time to give a talk, or lead a song, lead a prayer, wait on the Lord's table, or teach a Bible class, I'm confident that God, in His heavenly place, is smiling. I know I am.

Over the years, I've sat in the audience as my boys led the congregation in praise to our Creator or as they led a prayer or gave a talk. I've stood from a distance while my girls prepared to teach a Bible class. As a parent, it just doesn't get any better than that.

I've been thinking that sometimes, young folks put us to shame in their zeal and desire "to do" for the Lord.  We get tired or discouraged or have other things that we allow to take our time instead of teaching that Bible class or giving that talk.  I believe that we can become spiritually sick from the "been there, done it's someone else's turn" syndrome.  While it is admirable to sometimes take a step back and give others an opportunity to develop their talents and grow, I don't understand from the scriptures that a Christian can take a vacation from the role that he should be actively engaging in as a child of God. I just don't find it.

Elderly folks as well as young people who are trying their best to serve God make me want to do better.  They bring insight and wisdom to situations that only age can bring. When I see an older woman who teaches by her example, one who comes to encourage the saints in spite of physical difficulties, one who is thrilled to be there, I'm encouraged.  When I watch elderly gentlemen read the scriptures, lead the congregation in praise to God, or lead a prayer, I'm encouraged. You know the ones I'm talking about. They're the ones whose bodies may seem somewhat frail and whose steps may be slow as they walk. It's the ones whose voices may not be as strong as they once were when they read publicly from God's word. I give thanks to God for those Christians!  They are such valuable members of God's family.

Whether we are young, old, or in between, we need to serve the Lord to the best of our ability. We need to continue to use the talents and abilities that we've been given. God doesn't expect more of us than we're able to give but He does expect us to do what we can.  If we will just do that, the light that we shine will be so bright that neither the inexperience that comes with youth nor the frailties that come with old age will be able to put it out!

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