You’ve probably seen the bumper stickers on the back of a large RV truckin’ down the highway. It reads, “I’m spending my kids’ inheritance.” You may smile when you see it, but it’s really nothing to smile about. Translated, the message being sent is: “I’m living for myself and nobody else, including my kids and grandkids.”
I get increasingly impatient with adults of my generation and beyond who choose to spend their lives and assets on themselves while investing almost nothing in the lives of the next generations. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for some much deserved rest and relaxation, even in an RV if that’s your thing. On the other hand, it’s hard to justify a constant pursuit of frivolous ventures while ignoring what I believe is our responsibility to invest meaningfully in those who will come after us. How are you spending your life for the next generations?
I have to admit that I am guiltier than I like to admit of spending what I have on myself. I need to be reminded what it means to be rich toward others—especially my children and grandchildren. I find it easy to get caught up in my own needs and wants, and forget about the bigger picture. What example am I setting for my grandchildren when it comes to putting aside my own agenda for the sake of others, especially the next generations? At the end of my life, will I look back with regrets because of opportunities I missed with my grandchildren?
Let me put out another challenge for those who have the courage to take it up. Here are the four steps for this challenge:
- Take fifteen minutes every day for the next week to make an inventory of all the assets that have been entrusted to you—material and non-material. Non-material assets include things like your skills, talents, gifts, education and knowledge bank, lessons gained from life experiences, personality traits, faith and family.
- Choose three assets on your inventory list and reflect or pray about who might be a fitting beneficiary of those assets. It could be a grandchild, a neighbor, or a child/youth at your church.
- Now reflect and pray about how best to invest and distribute those three assets as soon as possible as a way of blessing those people.
- Repeat the process with all the other assets on your list.
Take this challenge and watch amazing things happen through you and in you.
GRANDPAUSE:A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. Proverbs 13:22
Cavin Harper is Founder and Executive Director of Christian Grandparenting Network (christiangrandparenting.net). He is author of Courageous Grandparenting: Unshakable Faith in a Broken World as well as several articles and blogs. Cavin has served in various ministry positions and has operated a retreat center with his wife Diane. They have been married for 44 years, have two children and nine grandchildren, and live in Colorado Springs.