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50 Years From Now
Pastor Joe Giacometti ©2002

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 of one.

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!"