Batons…are used in many different ways. Many shapes and sizes! These include nightsticks or the Billy-Club, Night Watchman, conductor, Drum Major, twirling, majorettes, and of course, track and field batons. There are several more; all for multiple purposes. They span from controlling a riot to leading beautiful music by an orchestra.
Our two granddaughters have been engaged in relay teams all through high school. Both are beautiful to watch. As I was watching our younger granddaughter, Annie participate in her 4 X 400 last year, a thought consumed me. Each member has a responsibility to run at her best time, carry the baton and make an exchange without dropping the baton. Then the final runner tries to bring home a victory. Each one has a distinct responsibility—take care of the baton. To drop it at any point is disastrous! That exchange is worked on over and over again in practice to offer the best opportunity for success.
The spiritual baton
Fathers in each generation are responsible to hand off the spiritual baton to the next generation. To drop it is unacceptable. It has earthly and eternal consequences. Each generation is dependent on the one before them. But if they have dropped the baton, it is your responsibility to recover it and make sure those following you have a chance to prosper and finish well.
Psalm 78:1-8 is testimony to the need for every father to teach/disciple the next. When you read these verses you will see the impact of obedience and disobedience. You actually impact 3 to 4 generations. That is a tremendous return on your investment as the spiritual leader in your family. God does not mix words! It is abundantly clear and imperative what fathers should be about. Guys, there is joy and there is judgment! Pick your poison! You actually control the outcome and consequences.
Get with other committed dads, pray for and with them and hold each other accountable. Alone, you are no match for the flesh, the world and Satan. Serious stuff! I know you do not want to be the one who drops the baton. Ask the Spirit to enable you to start and finish the race. And love hearing him cheering you on right through the finish line. Jesus will be there waiting, eager to say “WELL DONE”!
May we join Paul in this mindset! “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).