Thursday, August 9, 2012

Forties Top 40, #1

Decker Family_2

#1:  The coming of age of another generation.


As I began my 40s, my mom had recently passed away.  She was very much the matriarch of our family, and it seemed very odd that my siblings and I would be left to carry on without her.  She had thankfully taught us how to stuff and roast a turkey, but for the rest, we were on our own.  Or so it seemed.  It felt like we were much too young to take charge.


But then, something quite unanticipated began to happen.  Our nephews and nieces transformed, before our eyes, into young men and women.  Youth from our church grew up and adults much younger than I moved in and began to take ownership.  Where once I saw children, I began to see leaders.

Family Tree

I have loved my 40s for many reasons, but this one stands out above most of them.  I have realized that all of the responsibility doesn't rest on my generation.  The next generation is not waiting for us to figure everything out so we can hand them a nice tidy package all wrapped up with a beautiful bow as their heritage!  On the contrary, they are taking the tools we've been handing them all along, and THEY are now coming alongside US to grapple with a whole new set of realities.  And they are doing a remarkable job!  This gives me immense hope for my own future, for the people my own children are growing up to be, and for the days that lie ahead for future generations.  Help has arrived.

Recently a passage from the book of Hebrews keeps replaying itself in my mind.  In chapter 11, there is the list of all sorts of heroes of the faith, commended for believing and acting, even though none of them had received their ultimate reward in Jesus.  Chapter 11 closes in verses 39-40:  "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

Chapter 12:1-2 continues:  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.  For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

It's like a relay.  The race is owned by all the runners, but each takes a turn while the others cheer her on.  The victory is secured by Christ, and all who are willing get to participate in his he and all who've gone before cheer us on.  For now, we have the joy of running alongside those who will carry on after us, as we hand off the baton.  Even as we receive it from the better seasoned veterans ahead of us.  All along, God does new things with each individual, and each generation.

The forties.  Surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses.  Those who've finished their leg of the race.  Those ahead of us.  Those behind us.  What joy.

Fifties, I'm ready for you.  My prayer?  Lord, help me persevere and run my heart out for you.


Anonymous said...

Amen, Tracy!
Cathy Benton

HJ said...

I saw on Facebook that today is your bday, so came out here to check out your post!!! Lovely, as always!!! I have no doubt that you will rock your fifties!!! Happy, happy birthday to someone who is truly 50 and FABULOUS!!!!

Life with Kaishon said...

I learn so much from you.
Thank you for leading the way.