May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars, cut for the building of a palace. (Psalm 144:12)
I hear it a lot. I will admit that I have said it myself. It is spoken often on Sundays like today’s Youth Sunday celebration. “Our youth are the future of the Church.” I understand what is meant by the statement. Our youth will be caretaking the institution of the Church long after we are gone … at a time that if off in the future. It is a true statement. But it is an incomplete statement. Because our youth are also the “present” of the Church. Their spirit is part of the fabric of who we are as the church in this moment right now. We saw a brief picture of that in today’s Youth Sunday worship. We watched our youth speak and preach and sing and pray. And we have seen these youth serve in a variety of other ways that they have grown into their teenage years. While we pray that this growth and commitment will continue as they enter their early adult years, we also give thanks for the expression of that youth in the moment in which we live.
It is a continual challenge as we make our way through life … this tension between living in the moment and living in anticipation of the future. We cannot thrive without one eye focused on the present and another focused on the future. Both bring meaning to life. The psalmist understood this truth in speaking of sons and daughters who represent the future of the family, in images that convey blessings in the moment. We are called to do the same … to plan for the future, but to live fully in the moment.
So in prayer and reflection this week, ask God to grant you a vision that allows you to see the gift of each day that greets you upon rising from your sleep. A day that will offer you sustenance … the opportunity to serve … challenges to solve … friends to companion … prayers to be offered … beauty to behold … leisure in which to frolic … words to speak … people to love … thoughts to engage … and a faith to share. Is this not enough to keep your focus on the moment, and to make choices that will help to forge a future that you will gladly live into … in time?