We did this skit in Young Life a number of times and I think it was called “Pass it Down”. It was funny and seemed to never get old. A couple is on a date and end up not sitting beside each other in the movie theater. The guy starts passing down popcorn, a drink, candy and evidentially a kiss through other people to his date. It does not end well for the guy. The problem was they had too many people between them. Somethings can get lost that way. This was not only true in this made up skit, it is true in so many things. The Word of God can get watered down and becomes not even close to the truth. The original design is always best and it is important for us to stay close to the Source by reading the Bible for ourselves.
I think of the original design God had for man and the relationship He planned. A look at Genesis gives us a glimpse of the close fellowship Adam and Eve had with God and the first reaction of sin. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?” (Genesis 2:8-9). Knowing what we know about God, no amount of trees can hide us. In fact, it was a tree, fashioned into a cross, that held the body of His one and only Son to pay for all sin, hidden and known. So, hiding does not work and it is now possible to be back in right relationship with God. Amazing, isn’t? Now this is good news worth passing down!
With this relationship made possible by the good news, and the love, freedom and joy that comes with it, incredible legacies are passed down. Can I tell you about one? Years ago a couple were entrusted with a family. The only son in this family has now grown up and runs the camp that our daughter went too. From all the reports we hear, wonderful things are happening at this property. Because of the leadership that has his foundation securely built on Christ, lives are impacted. Staff, volunteer leaders, campers and adult guest experience the fruit only God can produce. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). One generation, close to the Vine, passes much to the next and what an impact for the Kingdom this family has made.
Our family has been blessed immeasurably by the parents that raised this man, so they did not just stop with their own kids. We are so thankful! Our lives intersected and we have stayed connected. I hear about their kids and grandkids and the compassion, unconditional love and encouragement they continue to pour out. In fact, the dad and son talk daily. They stay connected across the many miles that separate them. What a gift and one we plan on putting into place as our kids move from home. Relationship matters and can be such a reflection of our Heavenly Fathers love. With the pressure that must come from running a camp, how the load must lift when they talk. I hope you have someone in your life that does this for you.
So today, what are you passing down? Will it matter not just for today, but for eternity? I ask myself the same thing, of course. Will my words build up or tear down? Will I come alongside and encourage with truth or place more burdens on my family? Maybe you do not have a family at home, but you do see people. What are you passing down to them? A smile and kind word can sure go far. I know, I have been the recipient of many words and smiles. The Lord knows exactly when I need them and what a difference they make. I know I have typed out this message before, but it bears repeating. Time keeps on moving forward and what you pass down can have an incredible ripple effect.
*Picture of Damon and Maggie 17 years ago. I love that he is wearing a camp t-shirt from the very place she just returned from. God is faithful and this dad is passing down quite a legacy to our family.