Our Relay Race



I am not a runner and never have been, but I respect anyone who does. Our daughter had not been a runner either, but made it a goal to start running as she was helping her kids to learn to run a mile as a homeschool mom. What a great goal! She surprised herself with her accomplishment and went on to run a number of races after that including running the Army 10-miler and a half marathon. We couldn’t have been prouder of her disciplined training. She encouraged me often to try it and if we had lived nearer to one another, she might have succeeded.


Even so, as a part of fulfilling God’s purposes, we are all in a relay race. We pass the baton from one generation to another. For a long time the goal has been to leave the world in a better place, one generation after another. For better or worse, we pass on a legacy to all those who follow after us.


You hear that message when you hear an older generation make a comment about wanting their children or grandchildren to have a better education or better job than they had. You see it in the sacrifices of the older generation to provide it for another. I watched it unfold in my life as well.


ee402eb47e7734aed2c8611f2717e4e4My grandparents, aunts and uncles, on my dad’s side of the family moved from eastern Pennsylvania to Ohio for the opportunity to purchase large adjoining acres of rich farmland to provide an expanded future for my dad’s generation. My dad’s generation discovered my generation did not have a great interest in farming so their goal was to provide good education to launch my generation into adulthood. And so it continued as my generation sought to provide an even better education and more opportunities.


Many of us were born out of families and generations that considered sacrifice to be an honor and a responsibility. The sacrifices they often made were less about “getting ahead” themselves or getting “more stuff” and more about what future they could give as they passed the baton to the next generation.


One generation that has often been heralded for sacrifice has been called “The Greatest Generation”, those who were of the WW II era who volunteered in unprecedented numbers whether for battle or to work in factories to make the world a safer, better place for their children.


Now that I am older with children and grandchildren of my own, I pause to wonder. In some ways we have already passed the baton to our adult children and have been blessed to see some of the legacy that is showing up in our grandchildren. We get to see glimpses, but the full view of the legacy will be beyond our lifetime.


Barry C. Black put it this way:


“God expects us to be world changers, to live lives that matter, to make someone or something different, ensuring that the world is a better place because we lived here.

 We become world changers because God first changes us.”


How true are his words! God must change us first. Only when we are reconciled to Him who made peace on the cross, can we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts in all of our relationships. It is really the gospel that transforms us from the inside out. The gospel doesn’t compel us to love against our will, but instead changes our will.


Only the power of the gospel can cause us to become more like Him in words, attitudes, and actions. Then we can truly be salt and light in this world and leave a legacy of His love, grace, mercy, and truth as we pass the baton in this relay.


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15 thoughts on “Our Relay Race

  1. Thank you for sharing such powerful messages at the #LMMLinkup this week. Your words have challenged me to hold on and to be ready to receive the baton.

  2. Thank you for these words. They made me think about the legacy I want to leave my kids, how I need to prepare them to face the world. I’m so glad you could join The Really Crafty Link Party this week, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts.

  3. Walking is the best I can do, no running for me at my age. Our examples are a legacy that we pass on to our children and to other family members and friends. Keeping our word and showing forth Jesus Christ is worth more than gold. I loved your thoughts on passing the baton, and finishing our race. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  4. i’m always drawn to words on creating legacy, living legacy, leaving something of value behind. pam … thank you for this today.

    one thing i’m sure of is that our work is not yet done … not by a long shot.

  5. Legacy has become so much more clear to me in the last 5 years, after my husband died. His legacy continues to be hugely formative. I love your quotes here….especially the last about inscribing legacy on hearts. <3 Good words, Pam! Happy to be neighbors today at #RaRalinkup. 🙂

  6. Pam, my takeaway is if we haven’t been changed by God, how can we leave the world a better place? Thanks for helping us consider the legacy we are leaving.

  7. Thank you for these beautiful words. As I am part of the older generation now, and watching my adult children parent their own youngsters, I have become so grateful for the GRACE that is given to us each step of the way! Isn’t God so good to show us His faithfulness when we look back? And just like you said, I want my children to remember that Faithfulness also–to look back and see, not possessions for an inheritance, but Grace Gifts from God. –Blessings to you!

  8. This reminds me of unconditional love- how God first loved us while we were yet sinners and Christ died for us. Then as we love our children and offer them unconditional love to reach God’s purpose for them, whether it is in farming or an office. Love handed down to offer better opportunities for the next generation. No strings attached. Grace. Oh how powerful it is. The greatest being Jesus giving us what we don’t deserve. The love of Christ compels us to live our lives for Him and not for ourselves. Beautiful circle of love. Thank you for this lovely post:)

  9. Words like this come through loudly and with great impact in these days of turning our boys loose into the world. And we pray that they are ready, that we have done all things as we should have, and at the same time, know that their race will be run under the all-seeing eyes of the same God who has overseen our race.
    Thanks, Pam, for your steady wisdom.

    1. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we reach this season? When they are little and we are so busy with them, it can feel like the season will go on for a long time. The great joy of my life is despite ups and downs in their lives, both of our children love and serve the Lord and they have raised our six grandchildren to come to know Him as well. Yes, there can be trouble and challenges a plenty, but in the end that is all that really matters!

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