The Next Generation from Thoughts by the Rev. Don Jennings 1962 St. Paul, MN Recently something happened that caused a man to ask "What is this generation coming to?" In this same group, of which I was a part, there was a public school teacher of many years’ experience. She spoke words of wisdom when she replied, " It might be better to say look what has come to this generation." She was not only a teacher, but a parent. She knew we could not face life with despair alone, but with hope. Each generation makes its contribution not only to its own day but to the future. Someone long ago said that each generation moves forward on the shoulders of its parents. The time to train the next generation is a hundred years before they are born. In every avenue of life, we are planning for the future. How our future generation will face life, with all of its problems and opportunities, will depend to a great extent on how we plan for them. A prominent man said the other day that we are facing a new day. But, are we not always facing a new day? Progress demands that we face life as it is and pray for wisdom to meet the new day and its decisions. As we grow older, we find ourselves often lamenting for the good old days when life was simpler. Very few of us, however, would care to return to those days, with their lack of modern convenience, even though life was more simple then.
We recognize that family life is different when some of us were children. In some ways it is better; in others we fear that it is worse. Mark Twain, even in his day, said "We find mighty nigh everything in the modern home except all of the family at the same time. In the midst of all these changes there are some things that are certain. One is that no one is more interested in the present and future generation than a sincere Mother. We do not pause often enough to pay honor to mother. Many of us could say with Lincoln, that all that I am or ever expect to be I owe to my sainted mother. It was not alone what my mother said, but what she was that has influenced my life. Her quire, sincere, yet determined life will always be an influence for good. When Paul, the apostle, was writing to Timothy, his son in the faith, he had something to say about the power of influence. To Timothy he said "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." He was saying that Timothy's generation was better for having had a grandmother and a mother who were able to make a lasting contribution for the generation to come.
We pause to pay honor to mother and the home, and well we should. It is good that each of us, as parents, see the opportunities we have of helping to mold the future generation. We can better do so only as we let Jesus, who blessed the home by His presence, be our Guide and Counselor.