In most ways, I am not very competitive. I believe living has little to do with winning (succeeding), or losing (failing.) There is no question that every human has both types of experiences. So what? I believe life is about “passing on.”
Before I began, my parents were. After I end, my children, most likely, will be. I am the link between the two. I must be sure to pass on my faith. It is all they can inherit that will endure.
The most direct influence I can possibly have, and only if all the circumstances line up just right, is to hope that my great, great grandchild will pass on my values and faith to their great great grandchild. That potential impact, given ideal conditions, could span 5 generations–possibly150 years. Does this concept resonate with you as urgently as it does me? On this earth, I am like a wisp of smoke from a campfire. I will soon dissipate into the wind. Five generations from now, no one alive on the earth will have heard of me from someone who actually knew me.
Remember, the converse affect of my actions is also true. If I live my life in a state of upheaval, and misplaced faith and values, then whether it is my intention or not I will imprint my future generations in a negative manner. No purposeful evidence of my life will remain for them if I have done nothing to stabilize and distribute my faith and values.
Thinking about future generations, I am reminded of when I ran relay races in high school. In position, facing forward with my arm stretched back, I would wait for the slap of the baton into my hand. Then I would run to my next teammate and pass on the baton. The momentum of the race depended on my proper participation.
In which race should we be investing everything? What should we cultivate in order to pass on the most significant “baton” to the next generation?
I believe we should be cultivating a belief in God. Not just any god, but the God I read about in the Bible.
Since I take the stand that we DO influence generations beyond ourselves, I want to influence them for the better. If I were to simply imagine a god, or suppose there is no god, or assert that any god will do, I could jeopardize the spiritual heritage I hope to pass on. To me, this quest is serious business. Many would argue that this idea—the existence of one true God, is exclusionary and politically incorrect. Others—those who are atheists, would say that belief in God is unscientific, and unnecessary. I say they are welcome to their beliefs and the impact these beliefs will have on their future generations.
The unbeliever’s gamble is a bit humorous and somewhat prideful. I would think that for no other reason than wanting to ensure that your own future generations don’t miss “God”, you would ascribe to a belief in “Him.” Think about this. The consequence of believing in God if there really isn’t a God is not too bad. If there is not a “God” but you still believe, you will only be “foolish.” On the other hand, if there really is a God, and you don’t believe, there will be consequences. I would rather be “foolish” then wrong about God.
Another peculiarity is the idea that because we can’t see all the answers, or get them to mesh with what we think is “known,” then the concept of a God is not possible. Should a possibility of truth disappear because it is not “scientific” enough yet, “open minded” enough yet, or “politically correct” enough yet? Admittedly, since I do not feel a compulsion to perform like a trained seal in any of these arenas, I do not understand the need for such a“there-is-no-god” stance.
Where do you start to uncover the truth about God? Of course, I would say you start with the Bible. You read it and you pray. Be sincere, and ask the truth of God to be revealed to you through the pages. Study what the Bible says about who He is and what He does. No other book has such a collection of human authors, divinely inspired—all writing down descriptions of events that point to the one true God.
Which god is the true God? Do the research. Figure this out. Ask God to show up in your life. Seek. I am confident I have found Him. I am confident if you seek honestly, you will find Him, too. This will happen, not because you research well, but because He is faithful to what He has created.
Here is a partial list of attributes about the God I have found. He is the same one David gives great descriptions about in Psalms 65. Like a rare bird, may you, too, catch sight of this God today! Look for these markings…….
David’s God…..(descriptions found in the verses of Psalm 65)
to whom silence, reverence and praise belong
Who hears prayers and all flesh come
Who forgives, and purges away all transgressions, (pays for them and covers
them out of His sight)
Who chooses a man, and brings him near, and gives him dwelling in His courts
Who leads a man to be satisfied with the goodness of His house
Who answers us in righteousness by fearful and glorious things—things that terrify the wicked,
but make the Godly sing.
Who is our salvation and the confidence and the hope of all the ends of the earth
Who founded the mountains
Who stills the roaring of waves and tumult of peoples, so that those who dwell in the earth are afraid of nature’s signs of His presence
Who make the places (where morning and evening have birth) to shout for joy
Who visits the earth, and saturates and enriches it, provides grain, and blesses the sprout of
vegetation, clothing the meadows with flocks
Who crowns the year with His bounty and goodness
I can learn from these descriptions that the God of David, and my God today, is a God who relates to His creation with power and provision. He has not only created but chosen man to relate to Him. Most wonderful of all—this God—can forgive transgressions (mine and yours) and even “disappear” them, like a wisp of smoke in a campfire.