My Fifty-Year Endeavor

In one week, I will officially be old enough to complain about the younger generation (I’ll be fifty, if you’re wondering, and excited at the prospect.).
This morning my high school Sunday school class looked at verses in II Timothy 3:1-5a “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
I felt very sure that I can see signs of all these things in the younger generations and was feeling smug until one of my students announced, “This sounds like the way people have always been. I’ve always known people who act this way.”
And suddenly, I didn’t feel so smug.
Was my generation the first of the end times generations or one of the first?
This afternoon I watched an episode of a BBC mini-series about servants in a manor house and realized how far my own generation has come from upstanding behavior.
Take the notion of servanthood.
I used to sing a song in college, with great enthusiasm and emotion if I recall, called “I Am Your Servant.” And yet, I can see that I am a far cry from a worthy servant to Christ.
Earthly servants made it their business to be about their master’s business. Their lives were arranged around their master’s needs. Their preoccupying thoughts were to serve well and to represent their households with dignity and honor, reflecting well on their master’s home.
I’m not advocating that we return to a society of classes. I am certainly glad I was not born a servant to any human. But, I would hesitate now to sing my old college song, I certainly couldn’t do it while looking in the mirror.
I have much to learn about serving others.
Too often, I order God around in my prayers as though the roles were reversed. I wake with my own needs and agenda foremost in my mind, not my Lord’s.
Mine is the generation that has fallen down on the job. Maybe not the first but certainly we are a sign of the times.
Jesus disciples wanted to be great. “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
This week I saw my own reflection, not only in scripture, but in the young generation coming up and I decided I could spend the next half of my life learning to serve and not be finished becoming like Christ.
But, I would like to spend fifty years trying.
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  1. Karin says:

    That’s the work of the Holy Spirit in you – to see ourselves in the light of His Word and to see ourselves as He sees us – but most importantly to see HIM at all times!

  2. And not to lose hope – thanks, Karin.