Friday, November 26, 2010

The Success of passing it on : a Vision for Values

“ Above all else guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life” Prov. 4:23

Many times I look around and say to myself, what  in the world has changed? Is the change just all these myriads of gizmos flying around that we are all desperately trying to keep with? Is it just that the work culture has changed and so people don’t value what was valued a couple of decades ago? Is money really all that scarce that people work 14 hours a day and drive home exhausted in their BMWs not wanting to interact with a family deeply neglected? Have we moved away from the basics of  God first, family and then work order of priorities so much , and feel that we can  still sustain an equilibrium in society?

I believe we have a responsibility of passing the baton on well to the next generation : the baton of our beliefs and values that are timeless , not fickle or faddish but eternal. 


As I write I am thinking of my own children – one still a child and the other a man-child in his teens. There is so much for them to integrate into their hearts, their spirits and character – some of it needs to be taught, some caught, some by mere osmosis of being in the right surroundings. And I pray and hope that I will do this job well in my own children first .

There is a whole generation looking for role models and heroes. Will we give it to them? Or will they turn to insipid, immoral TV stars or greed filled business magnets? They are trying to suss out what life style they want. There is so much grabbing their attention out there – am I providing an attractive alternative – no not an alternative – am I living the abundant life in Christ in such a way that makes them realize there is no better “other” way.

The  "passing on " does  not happen overnight – it happens as we talk about the Lord Jesus and Kingdom principles : as we sit, as we walk, when we lie down. It’s a lifestyle – not something you wear on a Sunday morning and take off Sunday afternoon. Are we giving them a vision and passion for the Christian life? Several things come to mind and you can add to this list. 

So here’s what I am thinking :
GOD :  In a world that questions His very existence do I communicate the truth about who He is ? Do I help them cultivate a relationship with him that is not dependent on us as parents? Do I help them grow in faith? Do I teach them the scriptures and show them how to hide it in their hearts and call it to mind when guidance, comfort or strength is needed? Do I teach them to worship the Lord with all their heart, mind soul and strength? Do I teach them how to defend and share their faith? Do I give them the reason for the HOPE to which they have been called?
Do I teach them from a young age to serve in the church and give their talents to glory God first  and not leftovers ?

Education: This is a BIG one in my country. It is a God. This is a very important part of a student’s life however it is only a part and not the whole of their life.
Do I  teach my kids the principle of excellence – of doing whatever they do with all their might as unto the Lord ?
Do I teach them that it’s not winning and succeeding at all costs but that the means is as important as the method. So while others have learnt not share information or share their class work,  do I train our kids to be the opposite – to help the weaker ones, to be kind and giving.
Do I teach them to Seek first the kingdom of God and then everything will be added to them ? Do I give them opportunities to put this in practice and stretch their faith? Or do I pay lip service to this and on exam weeks allow them to skip church? In their Final year of school , college do I encourage them to work their study routine around their faith and church life ?
These are only a few thoughts, the list can go on.

 Life skills : Do I teach them the importance of keeping their word whether it is doing something they said they would do, or being on time to some place, or returning something they borrowed.
Do I teach them how to be trust worthy and honest in their friendships? Do I teach them to be compassionate and giving and not use people for their own purposes?
Do I teach them to conduct themselves with modesty , purity and humility . Do I teach them to look out for the less fortunate. Do I teach them to be fair minded and not prejudiced?  Do I teach them to keep their head and heart when everybody else is losing it – and to stand for what they believe in the face of peer pressure? 
Do I pass on the WHY of the belief and not just the practice which can so easily be reduced to a set of rules to be obeyed. Ah !! there is so much to give our children and enrich their lives other than a college degree.

 In order that they live this Christian life to the full with no compromise they need the Holy Spirit burning in their hearts so that they can be the Daniels , Joshua’s and Moses of today. And it is my prayer that they will learn to walk by the Spirit so that they will reap the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I do not wish for anything more than this for them. I know that if they have this, the rest will follow, not because of anything other than this : God is faithful to His word. When we trust in Him and put Him first , He does come through for us ( even when we are faithless as times). He said He will never leave us not forsake us and when we put our trust in Him, He will NEVER put us to shame. My confidence comes from  putting my trust in the Word of God.
 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward”
Heb 11:24-25.
SO my prayer is that I will be faithful in running this race well and passing on the baton to a generation that is waiting to take it.
I end with a song I wrote as a prayer. You can listen to it by clicking here
Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew
And help me live this life, devoted to you
Breathe on me breath of God
Cleanse me from deep within
Give me a pure heart and keep me from all sin
Breathe on … me
Chorus
Touch my mind my heart and will
Breathe on me O God
Touch my mind my heart and will
Until I’m completely yours

Breathe on me breath of God; fill me with your power
To go into the world and tell of a Saviour
Breathe on me breath of God
Until my life is done
Help me to run this race bringing glory to your Son
Breathe on me
Bridge
To love you and serve you Is the greatest thing
To love you and serve you Jesus my King

 Navaz D’Cruz.