Listen to Audio (right click to save)
I had the joy of participating in the baptism of some young people not long ago - in the waters of a beautiful lake. It was a sacred moment for all of us - in spite of the speedboat. You see, at one point, it went blazing across the lake behind us. It was there and gone in a flash. But its wake wasn't. For some time after the boat had disappeared, the waves it had created kept rolling in on us. And, for a time, it actually interrupted the proceedings. Mr. BoatGuy probably never thought about the wake he was leaving - long after he left. He was just passing through.
If you've ever spent much time by a lake, it's something you've experienced for yourself. Long after the boat has passed, the waves it created are still making an impact. Our lives are like that. Long after we've passed on, the waves our choices have made are still impacting many other lives. In our "now is all that matters" culture, it's easy to forget how much our choices matter and how long their effects last. It's about so much more than this moment.
God gives us a powerful values-clarifier in our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 102:18. He says, "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord." Man, that hits me hard! God focuses our eyes on the big picture reason for doing the right thing, because what you do now will affect lives that have not even been born yet - generations you will never see! Think about it. You and I are continuing to benefit from the choices previous generations have made, and to pay for choices previous generations have made. They've passed by, but not the waves they created. They are still rocking our lives.
The psalm goes one to point out the long-lasting effects of making God's choices your choices: "The children of Your servants will live in Your presence; their descendants will be established before You." Again, multiple generations whose destiny will be shaped by what we do now. Pretty sobering, isn't it?
So that compromise you're making or about to make - is it worth it - in light of its long-range consequences? Is that taste of sin really worth the road it may take you down and the legacy that may leave? Is that fling really worth what it may do to you, to people you love, to generations you may never see? How about that divorce? It will leave a mark for a long, long time. Maybe you're tempted to return to the old you, but stop and think about generations that could feel the impact of that choice. Who you're dating, who you sleep with, who you marry, even who your friends are - don't think those are just decisions that affect only you or only a few years of your life. Again, we are all still feeling the affects of those same choices made by people who went before us - when we were "the people not created" yet.
There's so much more at stake in the choices we make and the way we live than we could ever imagine. Things are being passed from us to others, especially our children, who will in turn pass it on to those they influence and who will in turn just keep it alive across the generations.
Before you go speeding into what you may be considering, would you think about it and consider the waves that your life is making? Make the choices that will cause those who follow you to bless your memory and the God that you helped them find across those years.
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.