The older I get, the more I need a push, not a nudge, but a real jump start. Although Dave and I have visited this area since 2000, we had never gone to Broadford Lake –until yesterday. We read, Dave fished, and we had a picnic supper there. Projects other than heading out to a new picnic spot, however, take far more courage.
Since 2006, when I attended a women’s conference in Atlanta, the words of Psalm 71 have bounced around in my head. I’ve even considered trying my hand at writing a book to encourage grandparents to make a concerted effort to share the Gospel with their grandchildren. Psalm 71:17-18 jarred my thinking: “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”
The view down Broadford Lake makes the distance look huge, and that’s my current view of writing a book. Vast, imposing, too much to tackle. Yet I believe God calls us to communicate the Gospel to the next generation. Psalm 78 picks up the same theme of purposing to tell future generations about the Lord. “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old — what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”
I grew up in New York’s Hudson River Valley, living near my paternal grandfather. His wife, Grandma Grace, died before my parent married. I remember going to church and sometimes getting to sit with Grandpa. He chose his seat so he could “rest his eyes” behind some female worshiper’s large hat! I remember his cigars, his gentle smile, his lapsing into Dutch when he got excited, his pouring coffee over morning corn flakes, and his uncompromising ethics, especially when things involved family. I was 13 when he died.
My maternal grandmother lived in South Carolina, so we visited there only about once a year. With Grandma Lundy, I associate a white handkerchief, snuff, church, homemade biscuits and cornbread prepared daily, and feeding the poor outside her kitchen door. Each afternoon I watched her ritual. Her large print Bible came from the shelf; then down came the braid on her head so she could give her hair 100 strokes with an old brush. Next, she read her Bible, replaited her hair and prayed. I was married by the time she died at age 91, and all 22 of her grandchildren (and spouses) sat shoulder to shoulder in the church that afternoon.
Although I have some fond memories of these two grandparents, I want to be even more conscious of giving a spiritual heritage to my grandchildren. So I have gotten a push to approach the word processor with an intended purpose, one given centuries ago by the psalmist. “Vast, imposing, too much to tackle” might fit a lake — but all these words seem too poor an excuse now.