10 Things Seniors Need to Be Writing for Future Generations
“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” (Psalm 102:18)
“A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation; they will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.” (Psalm 22:31)
The piece of paper will outlive you.
Papers exist which Abraham Lincoln wrote on, even letters from George Washington. It’s amazing how long a simple piece of paper may hang around.
If you and I will take the trouble to handwrite a message and leave it in a somewhat permanent spot, it may be there to speak its truth long after we have arrived in Heaven.
Here are 10 suggestions for seniors–or those in training to become such!–on what to write and where:
1. Write your testimony in your Bible.
That’s what those white pages in the front and back are for. And it’s why the Bible on your phone isn’t remotely in the same class as that thick, black-bound, leathery Bible you can write it and hold and touch and drop a tear or two on.
2. Read through the entire Bible and mark it up good.
I suggest you then pass that Bible on to a child or grandchild. Then, buy another and spend a year reading it through and marking it up, and pass it to another.
3. Keep a daily journal.
Particularly, if you are a middle-ager and just now beginning to get grandchildren. This is a perfect time.
I’ve heard it said that journals are not so much for your children as for your grandchildren. In most cases, long after you are off the scene and the grands are entering middle age, they will develop a curiosity about you and pull out the journal. Fast forward a few generations and your descendants will see you as a historical figure (!) and a valuable resource on “how things were in the old days.” So, tell ’em!!
4. Write the occasional letter to your children and grands.
Tell them something memorable in the body of you message, something they will want to keep and remember.
5. Write special, one-of-a-kind letters to your children.
Store these in your safe deposit box, to be given to them at your death.
6. Start a blog. Like this one.
If you’re unsure how to go about that, get some young person to show you. My website costs the equivalent of maybe two dollars a week. And yet the scope of its reach is amazing. Truly the best buy of my lifetime.
7. Write a book.
Whether it gets published or not is beside the point. Get a hardbound, wordless book at the local Booksamillion or Barnes & Noble and start writing. (And if you decide to publish it later, get advice on what to do and how to go about it. Do not let your ignorance on these things stop you from writing.)
What should you write? Do not fill the pages with meaningless dribble, but write on important subjects. A few suggestions:
–I will never forget the day my son/daughter was born.
–Five regrets I will carry with me to my grave. (Nothing too sordid, please.)
–Five people who changed my life forever, for the best.
8. Okay, it’s all right to write some “meaningless dribble.”
From time to time, write about your daily routine, even if it seems boring. Tell what you had for breakfast and the kind of automobile you are driving. The day will come when your descendants will find this fascinating the way you and I would today if we read that our ancestor drove a 1923 Maxwell or took a ride in an ancient two seater double-winged airplane.
9. Write letters of appreciation to strangers.
You read in the paper or saw on television something special someone did. If you will write them a note–if you cannot find an address, send it in care of the reporter who broke the story–yours may be the only letter they get and it will be a keeper. (Our culture today is not writing letters and notes the way we once did. So, yours will stand out!)
10. Write thank you letters to people from your past.
A teacher or pastor blessed you. A classmate said something off-handedly in the tenth grade that still encourages you. What if you dropped them a note and thanked them?
I was in the tenth grade. The principal asked me to come to the office. Uh oh. “McKeever, help Jerry Crittenden with his algebra. You can have my office for the next half hour.” So, Jerry–big, friendly, bear of a football player, and kind-hearted–and I sat there working algebra. Sometime during that little period, Jerry said, “Joe, you should be a teacher. You explain it better than the teacher does!” I never forgot that. And became a teacher, first in high school and then in church and in life. I owe Jerry for that.
Write it down. Write it out. Write it up. Send it forth. Someone need to hear what you have to say. Tell them.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/InnerVisionPRO
Joe McKeever has been a disciple of Jesus Christ more than 65 years, been preaching the gospel more than 55 years, and has been writing and cartooning for Christian publications more than 45 years. He blogs at www.joemckeever.com.