WHAT’S YOUR TIME FRAME?
What do Brown County State Park, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and two raccoons have to do with you?
They’re a reminder to you and me that a life well lived is a life whose time frame includes not only the present but also the future.
What’s your time frame? Are your decisions about the present moment only or do you live your life with an eye towards your impact on the future?
Lieutenant Hale and two raccoons
A picture of Lt. Hale, posing in front of a tent at the CCC camp at Brown County State Park is at the top of a February 21st article in the Brown County Democrat titled Civilian Conservation Corps comes to Brown County. In the photo, Lt Hale is kneeling behind two small raccoons that are alive but looking rather perplexed.
What the CCC did over 80 years ago matters today. The CCC was largely made up of Army veterans who could not get steady work during the Great Depression and what they did with their time, sweat and ingenuity continues to bless us today.
The article begins with this paragraph: You cannot visit Brown County State Park without seeing the results of the hard work and the craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The article goes on to explain what the CCC did out in the hills of Brown County: The CCC came to Brown County about 1933. The CCC was a…working group composed of veterans. They built all of the shelter houses in the state park and all of the log buildings. They hauled out huge blocks of stone and made them ready to use in the buildings where the stone is so beautiful and very visible.
What they did wasn’t just about using their talents and experience to build bridges, paths, and buildings, and earning a paycheck, but their work was done with an eye to the future. They knew what we all know in our better moments: we are called to live well so future generations may be blessed.
Sharon and I spend a great deal of time in Brown County State Park. As we walk the paths, drive the roads, seeing the stonework and buildings left behind by the CCC, I am thankful those people did a great, good and generous thing during a dark and difficult chapter in our nation’s history.
What’s your time frame?
Is your life about today only or do you live, love, give and serve with an eye to the future?
There are people who think only about themselves and there are people who think about others.
The Bible is full of the stories of men and women who sacrificed and gave so that future generations might be blessed.
I believe Abraham and Sarah leave their homeland spurred not just by the promise of a new homeland but also the prospect that their faith walk with God would bless countless people in the future. In Genesis 12 and 17, God tells Abraham and Sarah that they will be a blessing and ancestors “of many nations.” What they do, their willingness to trust, risk and go, will bless future generations. In fact, those blessed by their faith will be more numerous than the stars!
The Samaritan woman at the well, after meeting Jesus, returns to her village and takes a risk: she tells other people about the man who has changed her life. She doesn’t keep the good news of the life-changing living water of God’s love in Christ to herself, but she shares it because sharing today makes tomorrow different!
What’s your timeframe?
Over the next four weeks, we are going to be telling the story of Jesus of Nazareth. During this same time period, we are inviting you to pray and think about whether your giving will be robust and sacrificial enough to bless future generations.
What kind of church and what kind of world will we give to tomorrow by our giving today?
Every time I walk the trails in Brown County, passing by a building or crossing a bridge constructed out of Brown County stone, I think about what those CCC boys gave us.
Will future generations look at the church we will have given them as a legacy, and think about the way we lived, the way we risked great things for God, and the way we gave?
It’s easy to give in a way that barely takes care of the needs today. It’s more joyful to give in a way that builds up the church so it will be strong, healthy, joyful, courageous and loving tomorrow.
As you live today, what’s your timeframe?
Will your words and actions today bless those yet to come, or will the story of your life be all about you?
God is inviting us to Give-It-Forward.
Grace and peace,