Monday, August 9, 2010
"One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty act."
I spent part of last night scanning in old snapshots. Tedious work at best. The hardest part was prying them out of the sticky "magnetic" albums I put them in almost 40 years ago. Most were pictures I had taken as a 12 and 13 year old. Some were older - images from when I was 3 and 4 years old. Surprisingly it was not as hard as I thought it would be deciding what NOT to take out of the album - what needed to go directly into the trash. Not every image is a gem; not every photo needs to be saved.
The criteria that I used in deciding what to keep and scan was, "does this photo tell a story that my children or grandchildren need to hear." When using that as the premise, I discovered that most of those images that were so important when I was 13 held little meaning for anyone except that 13 year old long, long ago.
In Psalm 145 the writer praises the Lord for all the wonderful things that God has done as well as praising God's attributes. "steadfast" "gracious" "merciful" "faithful" "You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing." These are the things that need to be passed generation to generation. The essentials. The important bits. Truthfully, often, but not always, it take a few grey hairs and a few years to be reflective enough to authentically tell the stories of our lives in the context of where God was, what God did, what God has done since those situations.
Look around. There may be someone near - at church or elsewhere - who needs to hear your stories of what God has done for you. You may think that you have no story to tell and perhaps a browse through your old photo albums will jog your memory. Declare his mighty acts, generation to generation, because if we do not know where we have been, how can we hear where God is calling us to from here?
Redeemer, you walk with us all our lives. From the time we become to the time we breathe our last. In between, we have the stories of our lives. Help us not to sift those stories into good and bad. Help us to see that in ALL things you have been there loving, forgiving, renewing. Then, God, help us to write down or tell someone else what you have done for us. Help us to pass the story of your steadfast love from generation to generation.