Many of us are living off the grace of someone else’s work or sacrifice. Our nation of America was built on the foundation of the faith of the first settlers, ministers and founding fathers and military, which opened up territories, set up foundations and defended all fronts. Many families are surviving because of the foundations laid by a forefather who built companies or homes that their descendants are now enjoying. Communities are workings because of many who volunteered and gave their services to establish and run programs that help support our people. Patriarchs of faith have sacrificed through our history their time, livelihood and lives to birth new understandings of faith that started the religious communities that most of us follow to develop wholesome lives. Wars were fought and people died standing up for the values that were important to them. For African Americans there is a rich history of the sacrifice of those that fought, worked and died so that their descendants could have today’s freedom.
We often enjoy these liberties and blessings without considering that someone paid for us to have this privilege. What many do not consider is that the grace of those that made those sacrifices does wear thin or expire at some point. For instance if a Christian mother commits to praying for her son to have a rich life, but he chooses instead a life of promiscuity of wine, women and drugs and never pursues a path to developing a wholesome life. Do you think he will ever see a rich life? His mother’s prayers will appeal to God to preserve, protect and guide the young man’s life in the right direction but he ultimately will have to have his own faith added to her prayer foundation to bring about a rich life. She fulfills her requirement in her generation for her descendents, but heirs will have a responsibility to choose right behavior to receive the benefits of her prayer intercession for them.
For African Americans whose lives today are based on the sacrifices of those who started the underground railroads, stood up and spoke against slavery and a nation that fought to free the slaves that work alone did not get African Americans to where they are today. It took the sacrifice of others added to the slave’s work to bring about this day. People fought through speaking, writing, establishing organizations and legal efforts to build a support system that eventually brought about the marches, legislation and court actions that developed a new life for blacks. The work and sacrifice of the SCLC, NAACP, President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks supported the actions of the slave prayers that brought about the liberty blacks enjoy today.
Each generation has a responsibility to make sacrifices to continue the progress of the past heroes. If we decide to sit down and enjoy the work of past heroes then that grace will eventually run out during the generation of those that fail to work for the future. We see today in our nation that the Social Security system of America uses the labor of the working public to provide payments to those that are retired and enjoying their monthly income from the government. But if the young decided not to work, the seniors would suffer even though they paid into the system that should support them through their lifetime. We cannot afford to have the young to sit down and expect the government to support them when they have made no investment or sacrifice to warrant reaping of benefits. These young are expected to lay a foundation that will support the seniors now and then receive their benefits in senior years that are laid up by their off springs or prior generations. In the same token, if the seniors do not invest back in our youth then the youth will not arise to fulfill their role.
Our nation has lived off the hard work of those that came before us but these last several generations seem to want to work easy and live hardy without making sacrifice for future generations. We have all heard the slogan: “I am spending my children’s inheritance.” That slogan is not an attitude of gratefulness for those whose past sacrifices they now enjoy. It reveals an attitude of selfishness and lack of concern for their descendants. That is the type of attitude of carelessness and lasciviousness that had gotten our nation in the financial difficulties we now experience. This generation wants to live like there is no tomorrow and they are laying the ground work to reap just that for themselves and their heirs.
The bible tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us but that scripture is not being followed by citizens who support a life of living high with no thoughts for the future. Those that sow to the wind will reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). America laid a foundation that has worked for many years; but if we change the core values and systems in mid stream, we will not continue to be as prosperous. To continue success for the future, we have to continue to support our foundational principles and systems of faith and work that have provided for our citizens for so many generations. Our citizens are enjoying longer, healthier lives by the grace of God and that requires a stronger support system to care for the seniors. Unproductive youth cannot supply that support. That is one of the reasons why we have to invest in the lives of our youth. We have to help them resist self destruction through violence, drugs, gangs, school delinquency and irresponsibility resulting in incarceration rather than growing in maturity. Their success is our success because they will bear the weight of our future. We must teach each generation how to be responsible and willing to make a sacrifice for themselves and the future. That is an attitude that will enforce the survival of us all.
God, who owns all things, have given strength and grace to those that stand in places of authority the ability to build foundations and bridges that will allow others to cross. But when those in places of authority began to use that grace to strengthen only their own supply, we all suffer. Wickedness in places of authority is a burden to any people and must not be allowed to stand long because the weak cannot bear it. So it is detrimental that righteousness stands in every generation to call all men back to their rightful position of integrity, service and sacrifice to support our society at all levels. ▉