I like the term “emerging” better than some of the other attempts to find labels for the young who follow us generationally. I feel the same way about using the more affirmative term “developing” nations instead of the label “third world” countries.
I acknowledge that I am calendar-challenged and even beyond the top of the actuarial age ladder with almost everyone else at different stages of climbing the rungs behind me. Most of their lives are yet to be lived. I have already “emerged” like a butterfly from its cocoon and for scores of years been flying about doing what I believed is God's will in His plan among the flowers I was meant to pollinate.
Nevertheless, there may still be more flowers for me to pollinate. I have family cocoons around from which human butterflies are still in the process of emerging. In fact, I just took a count—I found 38 in my Emerging Generational circle, in my blood line or my blended line, you might say. We were blessed with three more precious infants since my 90th birthday partial group picture two years ago.
These precious people-of-my-heart range from AARP-eligible to infants less than a year old. I count in my Emerging Generation my four adult sons, spouses, grandchildren, their spouses, and great-grands each in process of emerging like a butterfly from his or her various life chrysalis. Whatever exes there may be, and blended families embraced, and adopted gems God planned to be within our circle are equally a part of my heart and my concern.
At the beginning of this new year, when thinking about my lifetime “Bucket List,” I felt God's nudge to add still another “word” of the year for my greater emphasis—“invest” in the sense of prayer and concern and encouragement and time into the lives of my Emerging Generation one by one. I consider it God's mandate and my responsibility to do so as consistently as He gives me opportunity and wisdom. I realize that I probably won't be around to see most of the returns. That is of little consequence. My faithfulness to help even just a little to set in motion God's overall direction for each of them is what matters.
If in any given instance, I'm limited to prayer alone, I have no doubt that my earnest prayers for each one of them will outlive my “earth suit” body life. None of our prayers are ignored or discarded in some angelic waste basket beside God's throne as being insignificant or unworthy or too audacious to answer. Once prayed from our lips or heart or spirit or with groaning, all of our prayers are everlasting. They never vanish. They are forever on God's front burner, so to speak, until answered perfectly in His way and will and timing, even if my prayer for some of them takes scores of years or generations to be realized.
Through being privileged to make some consistent investment in the lives of my Emerging Generation, I seek to water and nurture their God-given potential by my encouragement. I may offer a word of wisdom—but only if asked for. If not, I pray for my own wisdom to zip the lip.
What beautiful butterflies are hiding and developing in those ordinary-looking cocoons that are so beloved to me? I dare not force them open or interfere with God's timing for their debut into the atmosphere God has prepared for them. What delight I expect to feel from my vantage point in heaven when I see the fulfillment of God's plan in each of their lives—a field full of butterflies whom I knew when they were in their caterpillar stage!