and a little child will lead them all…

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In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
    the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
    and a little child will lead them all. Isaiah 11:6

It’s late morning on a hot, hot summer Saturday here in North Carolina. In fact, it’s already too hot to do much at all other than read, write, pour another glass of ice-tea, and thank God for air conditioning.

It was just this hot the other day, when the grandkids wanted to go to the park. But we went anyway, if nothing else but for the chance to get them out of the house and redirected for an hour. Great-grandmama Grace came along too. She’s always game for an adventure.

IMG_1279It’s just 150 yards from Maul-Hall to the park entrance, then a couple of hundred more to the swings. That translates into 15-minutes in toddler steps. They managed 30-minutes of play before the heat was too much, then another 15-minute walk home to complete the hour.

That’s the lead photograph for this post. Heading back across the grass behind the baseball diamond; David leading the way with a purposeful stride – uncle Andrew in tow; great-grandmama and Beks in the rear; Craig covering short-stop.

Then Beks sees her grandaddy. Huge smile; little legs pumping; full with all kinds of amazing life; just sparkling with effervescence.

IMG_1286David turns to grab uncle Andrew’s hand. Beks catches up with her daddy. I capture a truly wonderful image as the four of them head down the path, through Tyler Run Park and on toward home.

HOPE! Here’s my point. Are you concerned about this world? Are you worried about what the future may hold? Are you overwhelmed by the negative news reports, the hateful stories that circulate on social media, and the heavy toll continually taken by tragedy and war?

Well it’s okay to be concerned, and there is a lot that needs to be done to right this ship; but don’t give up hope quite yet. You see the next generation – that’s my grandchildren’s parents, Naomi and Craig, and their aunt and uncle, Alicia and Andrew – have the future literally in their hands.

IMG_1281I feel exceptionally optimistic about the 20-somethings and the 30-somethings I know. These are good people, not only concerned and informed, but actually doing something about it; positive and practical, changing the world by living intentionally as disciples of Jesus. Or, as Paul put it, “Children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Holding firmly to the word of life …– Philippians 2

I stood in the grass and I watched my grandchildren’s generation being guided, nurtured, and loved by the generation that will be moving into leadership over the next decade. If David grows up to be anything like his daddy, and his uncle Andrew; and if Beks grows up to own the passion for life and the love for people she is seeing in her mama, and in her auntie Alicia, then this world is going to be in good hands.

IMG_1285So if you are down, and if you need a break from the bad news, go find a child who is willing to hold your hand, and play with you, and teach you something about enthusiasm for life.

In hope and in promise – DEREK

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. – Isaiah 11:6

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