I was thinking about all of this one day, well
many days if I'm like most people, and I realized that someday I'll
be sitting with my grandkids and they'll ask about the original
World Trade Center; the original twin towers. And of course I'll
be able to tell them about how they stood high above all the other
buildings and how I could see them from the corner of most streets
and many buildings while I spent my time in school at NYU. I will
tell them of the glorious skyline they created as I looked back
at them from the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
I can even tell them how I visited them and went to the observation
deck on top of them only four years before they fell, and how far
you could see.
I was actually thinking that maybe one of my
grandchildren would have to do a project on it in school and how
I could help them by recalling my experience. I could show them
pictures I took of still smoldering lower Manhattan from across
the East River in Brooklyn. Also of the numerous memorials and candle
vigils set up along the Brooklyn Promenade. I can tell them of what
I personally witnessed live on TV straight from 9:25am to 1pm on
September 11, 2001. In addition to that I can tell them how many
hours a day for how many days after that I watched the news just
to make sure there wasn't anything going on that I didn't know about.
I was practically forced to watch the news that much, as it was
the only thing airing on major network television for almost a week
after September 11.
And then I thought, wait a minute. There are
certainly more things to tell my grandchildren 50 years from now.
Grandparents are interesting not only because of what they've been
through in history, but because of what they've done during that
history. That will be me someday. What will I be able to tell my
grandkids about my life 50 years from now?
WHOA! That's deep! Have you ever thought about
that? Have you ever really thought about that? Remember back to
some of the things you remember about your grandparents. Who they
were, what they did for a living, how they were involved, how they
raised and contributed to who your parents are. Man! Grandparents
sure are responsible for a lot! Do you remember specific stories
they told or still tell? What parts of history they were involved
in and how there perspective might be way different than what you
learned from a history book? That's going to be all of us some day.
Well, most of us. No, all of us. Even if some of us never have children,
thus never grandchildren, we will be a part of something where youngsters
hear our stories, whether it's our church or something in our town.
It will happen to all of us. 50 years from now, what will we be
able to say?
Will I have been satisfied with my life? Will
I have played Augusta National Golf Course? Hit a hole in one? Spoken
or performed in front of thousands at one time? Written a book?
Raced a car? Been to every continent?
I know I will be able to say that I lived in
a foreign country, Played piano with Billy Joel, Went for a wild
ride in a Dodge Viper, saw Meg Ryan with her son in FAO Schwartz,
sat next to Brian Littrell (Back Street Boy) the second time I went
to game four of the American League Pennant at Yankee stadium, and
went to the Holy Land (hopefully more than once). Wow, that's not
bad for just shy of a quarter century, let alone three quarters
But what about 2 Timothy, 4:7? In the beginning
of 1 Timothy, Paul is giving some specific instructions to the young
Timothy all throughout these two books. In conclusion to some of
the early instructions in chapter 1 Paul tells Tim this in verses
18 and 19:
"…I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies
once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the
good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience."
Not only does Paul tell Tim to do this, he says,
"Yo! I did it!" In 2 Timothy, 4:7 Paul says this:
"…and the time has come for my departure. I have fought
the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Fight the good fight, ok how does he do that? Oh, it's right there!
By holding on to faith and a good conscience through all the wild
things that are trying to distract us in life.
Wow! Will I be able to say this into the innocent
eyes of my six-year-old grandchild someday? If you think all of
the other stuff I was talking about in this article was deep, THIS
is insanely deep. There's things pulling at me on all sides that
can make me not fight to the best of my ability, that can make me
loose the race. And I'm a PASTOR! You're saying I have to do this
fifty more years? YIKES! I'm a pastor.
I'm sure when I'm seventy five my grandchildren
will be wide-eyed focused on me while I tell of September 11, and
will love to hear and see pictures of all the countries I've been
to. I'm sure my grandchildren will beg me to tell them again and
again how I met grandma and how it came to be that we got married.
I'll tell numerous stories of their parents growing up and how many
mistakes they made but how proud they made me. I'll tell of the
jobs I've had and the vacations I've taken and the things I've done
for other people. But what it comes down to is this; if I can't
honestly and sincerely speak the same words of the apostle Paul
to my grandchildren, then all of what I've spoken of above doesn't
really matter much at all.
It's a hard, long lifetime to try to accomplish
this. But I know that I can use Philippians 4:11 and 12 towards
not only what I experience in life but also towards Philippians
4:13 in making it through that life with my faith in tact. I should
be content in all my situations (11 and 12) and in the fact that
Christ gives me strength to do all things (13).
There will come a time when my grandchildren
begin to grow up and formulate the foundations of their own faith.
Grandparents can play a big factor in the faith aspects of a young
person's life. My grandmother was active in the church regularly
and in the word daily up until her death at the end of last year.
The spoke volumes to me in my decisions to serve the way I do. What
I pray I can say to my grandchildren someday is not necessarily
that I was a pastor, but that I had the honor and the privilege
to serve my creator, my savior, Christ, who did so much for me.
I'll be content with everything I'm able tell my grandchildren so
long as I'm able to back it all up by honestly looking into their
young curious eyes and saying, "I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!"