Cornerstone Family Ministries
"Individual and Family Wholeness"

Newsletter April 2008

Generational Blessings

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:3-4

It seems that the older I get, the more aware I become of the passing of generations. Just like the tide goes in and out with clockwork regularity, so does one generation pass the torch on to the next…and time marches on. I remember like it was yesterday when our youngest son, Dave, graduated from high school. I was in good spirits as the event began, laughing and joking with various family members. It was one of those occasions when the whole clan was able to get together to celebrate a milestone event. Then they started playing that traditional old processional, Pomp And Circumstance music (you know…”dum, dum, dum, dee, dum, dummmm, dum,” with the graduates slowly walking in from both sides of the auditorium wearing their emerald green caps and gowns, looking all grown-up and semi-serious. Boy, that is an emotional song and when the graduate I recognized as the boy I had known since he was born came walking down the aisle…I about lost it. No, I didn’t about lose it, I lost it! The tears came welling up from deep inside and seemed to have a mind of their own and just kept coming down my face. I had a handkerchief soaked before the music stopped. I remember telling myself over and over to “get it together and stop this crying nonsense.” Marveen slipped her arm around mine and asked me if I were OK. I sniffled that I was but still had to fight back the tears many times during the ceremony.

When the ceremony was all done and the dinner afterwards was history, I laid in bed in the dark trying to figure out why I was feeling so emotional. (Guys are a little slow on the uptake at such things.) I am normally not given to getting weepy so this needed some self-therapy to figure out and with some wisdom from Marveen, I finally deducted that it wasn’t just one thing…but a combination of factors that broke loose the tears.

I remembered how my family got all dressed up on a June night in 1964 and drove into town to sit in a hot gym and watch me walk down that aisle. I was feeling pretty grown up and even though I didn’t have an inkling of what I was going to do with my life, I had at least made it through high school in one piece and was proud that my family had made the effort to come and celebrate that milestone event with me. I had only a vague idea of the sacrifice, prayers, love and work that my folks had put in to keep me on target so I could have a good start at life. I remember standing around after the ceremony seeing all of my classmates with their moms and dads, siblings and grannies and grandpas, uncles and aunts and cousins, looking at that diploma, and giving lots of hugs, kisses and congratulations. Right there, at that moment, and with most of us kids hardly having a clue, a torch was being passed and a generational transition and blessing was happening. I remember my mom and dad giving me a hug and a little package that contained a nice gold watch with a tiny little diamond right under the twelve o’clock mark. Along with it, they passed on to me that they were proud of me and…final instructions to not do anything dumb that night and to get home at the set time.

On their way home, I imagine my mom and dad might have had some of the same feelings that I did after my own son’s graduation. That awareness that things do come around full circle is an emotional discovery. What had been learned in school was important, of course, and they saw to it that I kept my grades up the whole time. But, years later, I realized that what my parents had given me of themselves was an even greater blessing. From them I saw, by example, that being honest, kind, caring, diligent, and courteous, really was important. I learned from them that you don’t die from hard work and that it feels good on payday to know that you earned what you made. Watching my dad carve a good reputation in our little town stuck with me. Watching my mom give and serve the Lord with her gifts in our church helped me see that it is dedicated people like her that keep the whole thing afloat. Knowing that they prayed for us kids every night is a wonderful thing to inherit. Seeing them live their lives as giving and generous people, when we really didn’t have much financially, showed me that there are things of greater value than money. Knowing their love for the Lord and for their family was priority, remains an anchor in my life…lo, these many years later. The emotion that I was feeling at Dave’s graduation was incredible thankfulness and a deep hope that I had done my part to pass on to him the generational blessing that I had received.

Here in a few months, another generation of high school kids will don their cap and gown and walk down the aisle and across the stage to get their own handshake and diploma from the principal. Most likely, the same music will be playing that has been played for graduations for years and years. Sitting in the grandstands will be families with teary eyes as they watch their young son or daughter cross the invisible line onto the launching pad for their own adult life. I suspect there will be tears and laughter and hugs and kisses…and more than a few “I can’t believe you made it” exclamations. But, when the hoopla is done and the cars file out of the parking lot and head for home…my hope is that everyone, including the graduate, will know deep down that the blessing of God that filtered down through the love of friends and family is indeed a priceless thing.

God Bless You.

Pastor Wayne

P.S. I thought those teary days were past me…but, after being blessed to perform the wedding ceremonies for all three of the kids, I discovered another truth…my eyes still leak.


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