Pass On The Baton

October 6, 2015

                                          Pass On The Baton

Imagine that you are in a relay race. Immediately after the baton is placed in your hand it’s your duty to leave your post like a streak of lightning and carry it to the next runner. He is waiting at his post with muscles tensed, hand outstretched, ready to receive the baton from you, and carry it on to the finish line. You have an important role to play if your team is to win the race.

Unless your life has been a total disaster, you have something to pass on to others. There are innumerable ways in which we can contribute to the well-being of others around us. At times it demands some sacrifice on our part. At other times we do it without realizing it. Those who are mentors to others make a tremendous contribution without making any sacrifice.

In II Timothy 3:1-5 we have a description of that which will characterize many in the last days. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,   Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,   Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;   Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” One thing that stands out in this list of undesirable characteristics is selfishness. They will be lovers of their own selves, unthankful, and without natural affection. We have a serious character flaw if we have no love and concern for the well-being of our friends and family members. How can you expect others to serve you if you aren’t willing to serve them?

The thrust of this article is to motivate you to do what you can to equip others to have something of value to pass on to others. The baton, in this case, is something of value that we can pass on to others.

Once I read an illustration of a business man who sat in his office. He was thinking of a poor paper boy that he often bought a paper from.  That morning he had seen him standing in the street selling papers. It was a cold winter day and a cloud of steam formed in front of the faces of the people as they walked to and fro. The business man sent one of his employees out to find the paper boy and bring him to his office. The boy entered the office with his paper bag slung over his shoulder. The business man invited him to take a seat in a plush chair across from his desk. The boy unbuttoned his overcoat and sat down. He wondered why he had been called into this man’s office.

The man began by commending the boy for his faithfulness in being on the street each morning in spite of the cold. Then he asked him if he had any desire to go to college. The boy hesitated a moment and said, “I have never considered it because I don’t have the money for it. I live with my mother and two brothers. My mother is divorced. With money I earn by selling papers we are able to put some food on our table each day.’

Then the business man said, “I have a proposition to make to you. I’ll pay your way to go to college if you will promise me that after you graduate, and have a good job, you will do for some poor boy what I’m offering to do for you. Of course, he said “yes.” That is what I mean by passing on the baton.

For those of you who are parents with small children at home, there is no better place to start than with them. Do all you can to enable them to contribute some valuable qualities to the lives of their children and others. Psalm 112:1-2 says, “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.   His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.”

When we reach the retirement years of life it’s a great consolation if we can look back and see that we have been faithful in passing on the baton. It gives me great consolation to see men I have invested a part of my life in who are now doing what I can no longer do. They now have the baton in their hands and are endeavoring to pass it on to others who will pass it on to others.

In II Timothy 2:2 we read, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. That is what builds a prosperous and peaceful society. No matter what your calling in life is, you have something to pass on. In Matthew 10:8 Jesus said, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” If we just get to consume it upon ourselves, we are being selfish. The day will come when you will have to give an account for what you did with what you received.

Are you passing on the baton? Are you equipping others to have something to pass on? Many in this world are striving to get just by taking. God’s plan for us is to get by giving. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

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