On the Shoulders of Giants?
Paige and I went to college in the west Texas town of Abilene. Like the rest of the region, Abilene is flat, wide open, and a bit barren. But when you get to the university campus, it’s like a little oasis. There are ponds, fountains, flowers, bushes and trees all over. And part of what stands out to me, especially in the older parts of the campus, is the way that life was planted by people 100 years ago who would not get most of the benefit of the labor themselves. Lining sidewalks and streets are large oak trees all in a row (or at least large by west Texas standards). They didn’t just happen to sprout there. They were planted there.
Someone had the vision for these rows of trees, did the work, dug the holes, were willing to start small, and provide care knowing that the majority of the growth and shade and pay off would not be experienced in their lifetime. The beauty and benefits they left behind would ultimately be felt by future generations.
Last Sunday was our annual baby dedication, a time when parents and the rest of the church commit to do what we can to help the little ones in our care grow in love and knowledge of God. Yet it also serves as a reminder that our actions and efforts are not just for us today. They are for the good of the church and world tomorrow.
Church is never just about, “What’s in it for me?”. Instead we ask, “How is this serving those around us. How is this serving the lost wanderer? How is this serving the hurting, hungry, and hopeless? How is this serving those denied justice? How is this serving those who don’t know Jesus? How is this serving today’s young people who will lead and be tomorrow’s church?”