Life At Its Best: Living life in the transfer zone
April 15, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 14, 2011 at 11:15 p.m.
By Jim Graff
The other day, one of my kids asked me to listen to a song on the radio. I tried to show interest in the music, but because I couldn't even understand the lyrics, the disinterest on my face showed. "Are you even listening?" they asked. "How can I not? It's so loud," I responded.
There are days I don't feel my age, but that day I certainly did. As I've gotten older, however, I've recognized the incredible responsibility that comes with age. I call this time of my life the "transfer zone." It's an opportunity to pass on what I've learned to the next generation, so that they can walk in God's blessing to a greater degree than I have.
I'll never forget watching the 400-meter relays in the 2008 Olympics. The media had favored both the U.S. men's and women's teams to medal in this event, but during the race, a historic yet heartbreaking scene occurred. Two American teams blew their hand-off and lost their chance of winning the prized gold medal. Because they failed to carry out that one motion, all of the hard work and effort they'd put forth for years turned into nothing. Afterward, the CEO of the track and field Olympic committee called for a comprehensive study. He wanted to know exactly how the athletes were recruited and trained because he never wanted to experience the embarrassment of a blown hand-off again.
I think it's time for the church to do a comprehensive study, as well. It's time we ask ourselves what it is that's causing us to experience four blown "hand-offs" - four generations living in the midst of a considerable decline in Christianity. The truth is that we can be the fastest runners and best runners to ever run this race of life. But if we don't make the transfer right, everything we ran for leaves the Earth when we do. Psalm 145:4 says, "One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts." We must be intentional about passing on our faith to the next generation because our nation's success tomorrow is going to depend on how we steward their faith today.
You might be thinking, "But Jim, I'm not a Bible scholar. How am I supposed to make a difference?" This is how: Start with your story. No one can argue with a testimony, and no one can argue with a changed life. God needs every single one of us! He uses who we are and what we've experienced to help others.
So, tell your kids about how God saved your marriage. Tell your grandkids how God healed you. Tell everyone under your influence about how Jesus' love has set you free. That's how to live effectively in the transfer zone. Don't ever underestimate what a life of obedience to God can do in the generation to come. Together, let's finish our race strong, empowering the next generation to run victoriously into God's blessing.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com.