Some have likened history to a train. We board the train when we are born and depart when we die. But the train has been in motion long before we board and will continue its journey long after we leave.
It seems to me that history is an expedition, like Lewis and Clark searching for the Northwest Passage. Each generation helps chart the journey with its twists and turns, and each picks up where the other left off.
At present we are witnessing the departure of what Tom Brokaw called the “greatest generation,” those who lived through World War II. Five years before I was born my mother was on a picnic with my father when President Roosevelt interrupted their 1940s music to report the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She died two years ago. My uncle commanded a tank in the battle of Nuremberg in April 1945. He died in January of this year.
Every generation is connected to the generations that went before. But, like an expedition, every generation must find its own way, and each generation must find its own faith. A few years ago I reflected on what I wanted to accomplish with my remaining years. One of those things was to encourage the younger generation to do greater things than I ever imagined. I am pleased to see that happening in many places. More people are coming to Christ every day than at any time in history. And I am finding many in their twenties and thirties who are passionate about going to the ends of the earth and living transformed lives for Christ.