What do traffic lights, seniors & farming have in common?
(no, this isn't the opening line to a joke!)
What do you do when you're at a red light and the light seems to be taking f o r e v e r to change? Sometimes I try to rock my vehicle thinking that somehow some sort of underground sensor will wake up. Who knows if that works?
Sometimes it feels like we put in a lot of time and a lot of work to get the light to finally change.
And sometimes we're the ones who benefit from the work others have put in to get the light to change.
I remember one time I was approaching a red light at a usually busy multi-lane intersection. I could see the intersection well ahead of me and saw there was only one car in my direction waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the light to change. As neared I was about to slow down to join beside them and 'put in the work' to get the light to change, but the light suddenly turned green. So I kept my speed up and flew right past the blessed soul in their car in the lane next to me.
They had put in all the work for that light to change and not only did I benefit from it, I was able to move ahead swiftly.
In John chapter 4 Jesus declares that the 'harvest is ready' and then says in verse 38, "I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefit of their labour."
Jesus uses farming language, but it's quite similar to our traffic light situation, isn't it?
I wonder if we could take a moment today to reflect on how the work of prior generations has benefited us so much. So many of us know tremendous blessings in our lives because of the effort and endurance of others.
In our church family, we are so privileged to have so many seniors. This generation of elders continues to live devoted and faithful lives of sacrifice - and we are so blessed because of them. So much of the 'harvest' we are experiencing is because of their prayer, giving, and steadfastness.
If you are in that elder generation, we thank you! You are such a blessing to us and to our world. You are deeply valued and continue to be so important to us, our church and our world. We know that your contribution and participation may not be the same at this stage of life as it was earlier. Your value does not hinge upon what you can do, but who God has made you to be. Your purpose is to be loved by Jesus and by us. Thank you for being such a vital part of our church family.
I am at a stage of life when I'm observing some ways that my oldest children are beginning to surpass me. What a thrill! As others say, 'I want my ceiling to become their floor.'
May you and I be for our children and grandchildren what the elder generation in our church has been for us.
Let's put in the work at the traffic light so that they will be able to move ahead swiftly!