I have noticed a trend with the single-track trails at Hartman Rocks. They are getting easier. Unfortunately it is not because I am more fit, or becoming a better mountain biker. What has happened is that every spring, crews from the community go out for “trail maintenance” day. They repair trails, clean up trails, and apparently, move large boulders out of the trails or reroute the trail around the boulders too large to be moved. I am certainly not complaining! There was a day when I was tougher, faster, stronger, and for some reason not afraid of careening, tumbling or bleeding. In that day I enjoyed the challenge. These days I am pretty excited to maintain a nice, easy forward motion while all body parts stay where they should be. So when the option comes to throw myself, while attached to a 30 pound bike, over “skull buster portal” or take “safe granny lane,” I choose the latter.
This got me thinking though. Why are people making the trails smoother, faster and more enjoyable? I really don’t know that answer. I do, however, understand my task as a Christian a bit more clearly. In some way or another, each of our life’s purpose should be to clear the dangers or obstacles out of the way for the generation who will follow us. We are going ahead, clearing the path in order to help the next generation have a smooth track for a time.
This task was done for us. Even the simple things we take for granted in ministry: lights, rock music, smoke machines, coffee shops and the like, have been made possible because someone dared to dream of a way to connect to more people in their generation – paying the price and fighting the fight to make it happen. At my church, Rocky Mountain Christian Ministries, a price has been paid. It is through the faithfulness of my pastors, their pastors, and many people we will never know who prayed for the way to be made for our congregation to be what it is. God does receive all the glory for that, but he always chooses people to work through, and if those people stop moving boulders or stop clearing the brush, then the dreams of God’s heart will pause until someone will dare to do them.
There always comes a time when a generation gets to the end of the “prepared track” and must begin to break new trail for the next generation. None of us deserve the nice, smooth way, but it is a gift from those who have gone before us, and in some cases, given their lives so that others could go farther, accomplish more and complete the task that was begun. If we do not train and equip another generation in this truth, they will end up lazy and ineffective, doing laps around the same track, cheering each other on while accomplishing nothing. This process always requires a proper perspective of the past and those that have gone before us, and God’s vision for the future – the place we are to send the next generation.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4