We live in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century. In this era, our worldview is defined by the word "instant."
No need to travel to a library. We have instant access to information.
No waiting to develop photos. We have them instantly on our phones.
No waiting to see a friend 1,000 miles a way. Facetime them instantly.
No waiting to reorder toilet paper. Push the button and instantly Amazon will ship. Maybe even by drone.
We live for the moment.
We want things immediately.
We expect results now.
We ride the 24 news cycle and swipe through our friends' feeds - all streaming instantly.
But if we only live in the moment, we miss out on a worldview that the faithful have had for millennia.
The Hebrew worldview reflected in the Old Testament is consistently generational.* Psalm 78:6-7 sums up the sentiment:
"That the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God . . ."
In contrast to "the instant," a generational worldview asks: What will I do today for "a children yet unborn"?
Another way to put it would be:
"What am I doing today that will matter in 100 years?"
A generational worldview is an assault on instant gratification. It dismantles selfish motives and bald consumerism.
A generational view is long and patient. It is severely selfless. It recognizes that you may never see the fruit of your labor in your lifetime. It has in mind "the children's children." It cares for a people yet unborn, people you may never meet.
Ask this question of all the major decisions in your life. How would it inform your:
We will quickly forget the news feed we flipped through. Or one of 56,000 pictures we took on our phone. As my father-in-law often says, "What will you remember in a year? Or 10? Or 50?" These are the things that matter. The faith and values that are transferred in a legacy, from one generation to the next.
God's view is generational. He is patient through the ages. Through patriarchs, kings, and prophets. The family tree twisted through the years until it came to One man. In an instant, by his sacrificial death, his love now spans all generations.
How would a generational view affect decisions that you make today?
*Genesis 2:4; 5:1; 6:9;10:1; 11:10; Deuteronomy 6:2,7; Matthew 1:1-17
See "These are the Generations" by friend and mentor, Dr. Andy Bartelt.