“O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” — Psalm 71:17-18
To be transparent, I must admit that this is one of the first prayers I pray every day. It has become my mission statement and the anchor of my life. My focus and energies are directed by the passion of this passage.
I’ve read that when the French farmers were nearly starving during the famine of the 1800’s, they were kept alive by what is called “The One-Hundred-Year-Old Soup.” The farmer’s wives would keep a pot simmering on the back of the wood stove. Every day they’d throw in whatever was available, along with some more water. It might be a carrot, some meat, a potato, or even a handful of dandelions.
When children left home, they’d take a pot of the soup with them, and when immigrants came to America some of them brought little pots of the one-hundred-year-old soup. It’s claimed that some of the soup eaten today in South Carolina derives from this source.
The church of Jesus Christ has been boiling a pot of nourishment for two thousand years. Many ingredients have been added and many people have been fed. It’s ever old, yet ever new. It’s a constant, life-giving gift from generations that have preceded us, but it needs constant replenishing that those who follow may also be fed.
Psalm 71:17-18 is a prayer. It is my prayer. It should be our prayer. When we have served our generation, we should ask God for strength and opportunities to serve the next. We have grandchildren to influence, children’s ministries in which to volunteer, and neighborhood youngsters to invite to church.
May I suggest you begin today to leave something for those who come after you? What about a journal. Why not record the significant things God is doing in your life and speaking to your heart? A journal is one powerful way to communicate who God is and what He has done.
Donate some time. You have as much as anyone else in the world. Make an investment of yourself…and the Lord…in the life of a young person this week. I promise the blessing yours as well as theirs. When you make this investment, be ready “to give an answer for the hope that is in you…“ (1 Peter 315) because they will ask.
Perhaps we feel we can’t do much, but don’t you have a handful of dandelions you can throw in the soup?