Faith Matters

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The Lord foils the plans of the nations and frustrates the designs of her peoples.  But, the plan of the Lord stands forever, the designs of his heart from generation to generation.    -Psalm 33:10-11

The death of my father came before the birth of my son.  Both events changed me.  Thank you in advance for letting me share a bit of my heart. 

We just celebrated Labor Day… a change for all of us, too… you know… the joy of being together while were told to keep apart.  My dad would have hated that.  He loved Labor Day and for all it meant.  So, I miss my dad at a time like this.  He worked hard and died young… one worthy to be missed.  I miss my son, too.  He’s been on the move since his first steps… and now still since leaving home in 2008… he’s lived in six cities and may soon move again.  Whoah!  There’s plenty of distance from Seattle to Pearland but on this Labor Day he was in Pennsylvania with his fiancé’s family.   I spoke with him George Jetson style on the cell phone to catch up on life.  It was good to see his face, hear his voice and spend some time with him.  Virtual hugs. I know he misses me as well.

Generations come and go but we all get to experience at least three of them and some are lucky to get four!  It’s hard work being a son.  It’s harder work being a dad.  It goes on and on and comes back around and then gets given away again and again.  The same for moms and daughters, too.  Faith matters.  What we believe, grasp and gift from one generation to the next is such an important thing.  Always!  We call it ‘passing the torch’… keeping our eyes on the light as much as on the handle…

Long ago, I realized that the life torch passed to me would one day be given to my son… passed on from one generation to the next.  That’s God at work among us… so do handle with care!  A song by Mike and the Mechanics …” The Living Years” … has helped my grip with both fear and hope.  It’s a story about the relationship of a father and a son… that didn’t always go well.   The opening lines are haunting—-

Every generation blames the one before …  

And all of their frustrations come beating on your door … I know that I’m a prisoner to all my Father held so dear … I know that I’m a hostage to all his hopes and fears…

Emotions and expectations fraught with successes and failures laced together day after day… year after year, the verse concludes…

I wish I could have told him in the living years…”

Yes! It’s hard work!   And that means younger eyes are on us as the next generation watches and listens to the rest of us. What are they learning?  What are they hearing?  There’s plenty of blame to go around.  If Martin Luther King, Jr. announced he wanted his children to be judged by their character rather than the color of their skin, why is there rioting in the streets… and a national conversation going on over 50 years later?  Didn’t get the e-mail? The text?  That’s a BIG thing.  A very BIG thing on a list of many other BIG things and that means it’s a never-ending thing.  That’s why each generation must teach the next one… making sure everyone gets an A+… and to keep at it… as I like to think of the difference between generations is less of a gap and more of a crack … with stuff seeping out and hard to put back…  You see… we are not in competition with each other but with ourselves and God’s ways… knowing and holding on to the good, lasting, eternal ways of God at the core of our conversations from generation to generation… Faith matters… what we believe truly matters.  

Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four   decades.     You can follow   his   blog ‘murmurings’ at   Send comments   and questions to [email protected].

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