Why complain when we can proclaim?
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As I sit in the utter stillness of my uncluttered, now-clean home, I realize how quickly I am missing the chaos of my four grandchildren racing through it. We had all four for a few days of their spring break and it was a crazy, exhausting, wonderful blessing. 

My feet and knees are glad for this chance to sit and write while my thoughts are directed toward my “grands.” If the Lord chooses to tarry, these kids are the future of our family, as well as our culture and our faith. 

As I wonder what their futures will hold, I’m comforted by the knowledge that I know the One who holds their future. 

The best thing about old age and gray hair is . . . 

Psalm 71:18 says, “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” 

The best thing about old age and gray hair is the perspective age provides for the most important things in life. God has been on his throne from the very beginning and has never stopped moving our world toward eternity. The God of our ancestors will be the God of our grandchildren and their grandchildren, if the Lord tarries. 

One of my grandsons is obsessed with dinosaurs. We looked at websites and he told me all he knew about each of the species. We played with plastic replicas of different dinosaurs and he could name every one of them. We even discovered that Google Assistant could play videos and recordings of the way those dinosaurs sounded. He is five and lives with no skepticism about what he hears online. 

I didn’t have the heart to tell him there weren’t microphones or a written language to record information during the time dinosaurs roamed the earth. Pretty much everything he took as fact could only be an educated guess. Maybe I’ll wait to tell him that when he is six or seven? 

One day I hope to tell him that the only One who is sure about what dinosaurs sound like is the God who made them. The most important thing I can do with my time is follow the psalmist’s wisdom and “proclaim his might to another generation.” My great priority needs to be helping the members of my family and others live with the certainty of their eternal lives in heaven. I want to do all I can to help my grandkids know and love Jesus. 

Wise words from C. S. Lewis 

My husband and I were talking about what the world might be like when our grandchildren are grandparents. Every generation has been unsure about the next generation and wondered if their lives will be as good or better than their own. Yet, each generation has earned their own trials as well as their own victories. Paul knew what he was talking about when he said, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Every generation makes some mistakes and the next has to chart a different course as a result. 

  1. S. Lewis wisely said, “Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists and limits the power of its predecessors.” 

My dad used to worry about the video games my boys enjoyed playing. He thought they should be outside running, working, or fishing! He wasn’t wrong, but he also wasn’t completely right. Technology has widened the generation gap in multiple ways. When my dad became an elderly man, I told him about a friend of mine who had also worried about those video games but was grateful for them later. Her son, who was a big fan of those games as a child, grew up to use similar technology to help fly drones into a war zone so that soldiers didn’t have to lose their lives in the battle zone. 

C.S. Lewis was right to say that one generation exercises power over its successors. Every new generation is better at some things but also needs to respect some things from the past. Traditions usually exist for an important reason. 

Biblical faith, strong churches, Christian values, and the changed lives of Spirit-led people are a great asset to the next generation. Jesus taught us to love God and others, and that will always be the most important commandment. 

How will we proclaim God to the next generation? 

We have an important choice to make with our witness to the next generations. We can complain or, as the psalmist encouraged, proclaim. John Wesley, the famous Methodist preacher, said, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” The older generations should embrace change when those changes proclaim God. 

The music in our churches might be different, but it is a good thing if it proclaims God to the next generation. God evaluates the success of our worship like the psalmist. Did we proclaim Christ to the next generation? 

I don’t love contemporary music as much as I love the music of my youth. But I remember my parents saying the same thing. I worry about the wars and rumors of wars. So did the disciples Jesus was teaching those words to. We have a lot of concerns for the future, but none more important than this: Are we proclaiming God to the next generation? 

Don’t worry. Love, God 

John Wesley also said, “I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life.” 

Jesus commanded his followers to “fear not.” John Wesley took that command to heart and accomplished more than most men ever will for God’s kingdom. We don’t need to worry about the future when we trust the One who owns it. 

Let’s put our gray hair and old age to good use. Those who are younger should be able to trust the wisdom of those who have lived with Christ’s priorities for most of their lives. Our families and our culture will be blessed by the older generations who choose to proclaim instead of complain. No generation will live perfectly because no generation ever has. We can trust God’s grace and power for everyone. God will always choose to forgive and save until Jesus returns. 

Fifteen minutes is John Wesley’s challenge for our worries. Go ahead and stew about the future for a few minutes, but then choose to lay those thoughts at the foot of the cross and thank God that he is still on the throne. 

God is guiding our future toward heaven. God will measure the success of our worship and our witness by the motivations of our hearts. Whatever age we are, we have a spiritual responsibility to proclaim God to the next generation. 

How will you do that today?