Training a Generation

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Last night I pulled my shopping cart into a line with only one other customer. Alas, it was one of those dreaded lines where that one customer in front of you is having a major issue. I did what I always do in that situation. I read the Lane Closed sign at a nearby checkout stand. I  wondered if the long line at another check out would get me to that checker faster than if I simply stayed put. I stayed put, waiting while at least three different people tried unsuccessfully to help the man in front of me.

In this Library of Congress photo, dated June 26, 1918, a mammoth cash register encourages people to purchase war savings stamps to help to fund World War I.

When my turn came, I had a pleasant encounter with the young man serving as checker. I told him that I had purchased one of my items (a toy) because of the values I want our grandchildren to learn while playing with it. To my surprise, the young man began talking about how important it is for that generation to do well.

He’s right, but that importance is nothing new. The consequences are always bad when a generation does not do well. Like you, I hope that the current generation of Americans is up to the tasks before them.

In Psalm 78 we learn about a generation in Israel that messed up badly after God gave them the Law of Moses. Beginning in verse 5, the Psalmist says:

For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they were to teach them to their children,
So that the generation to come would know, the children yet to be born,
That they would arise and tell them to their children,
So that they would put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But comply with His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Psalm 78:5-8

The checker was right. How the next generation lives and leads is vital. You play a vital role in that outcome every day.

Listen, my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will tell riddles of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But we will tell the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His power and His wondrous works that He has done.
Psalm 78:1-4

 

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