The Next Generation

Published 6:00 am Friday, July 5, 2024

It was Solomon who once noted, “A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4 ESV). The wise preacher’s words remind us we aren’t going to live forever. No generation will occupy this earth permanently. 

There is coming a day when we will each leave this world behind, but the perpetual cycle of life continues. Each day, families around this world grieve the loss of loved ones, but other families celebrate the arrival of new babies. There is a continual flow of going and coming. 

As one age group bids this world farewell, they are quickly replaced by the latest up-and-coming generation. The Greatest Generation was eventually followed by the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are being trailed by Millennials and Generation Z. These groups are quickly followed by Generation Alpha. If the world stands, there will be future generations after these. Time keeps marching on and on! 

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What should we make of this? These immutable facts of life ought to challenge us to invest in the next generation. We can be sure the next generation is swiftly arising to take our place, whether they are ready to fill our shoes or not. Rather than criticizing the next generation, it is our challenge to invest in those coming after us so they are equipped to make this world a better place in our absence. 

We cannot allow the wisdom, abilities, and experience we have developed over the years go to the grave with us. One of the most impactful things we could ever do is mentor someone to take our place. We must see beyond ourselves! 

Elijah mentored Elisha. Paul mentored Timothy and Titus. Even Jesus had his twelve apostles. Who are you mentoring? Who will one day take your place? 

Brandon Baggett is preaching minister at Luverne Church of Christ.