It would be my final school concert, all of those long years of teaching finally behind me, a bit of a bittersweet occasion. A young student of mine, our pianist, would be graduating in a few short days and pursuing a teaching career in the same field of study that had held a special place in my heart for so long, music. I wanted to give him something out of the ordinary, special, a sentimental memento to encourage him to invest his life and God-given talents into the lives of his future students. Tucked away in my desk drawer was a simple directing baton that I had purchased as a young music student decades prior, kept as a constant reminder of the awesome responsibility with which God had blessed me, to mentor children, to help them find their voice, to be their tour guide through the awesome world of music. What better gift could I give this young student but to pass this baton on to him so that he could carry it into the next generation?
Have you ever watched a relay race? As the lead sprinter runs the first leg of that race, the second runner gets in place and begins running before that lead man overtakes him. Then comes the crucial moment when the baton is passed. Any miscalculation or hesitation at this important juncture will cost the team the race. A successful race is won on the efficiency and precision of that baton transfer.
The apostle Paul was passing the baton of the gospel to his son in the faith, Timothy, for his (Paul’s) “departure was at hand.” Paul’s ministry was coming to a close, he had raced well, completed his leg of the race, “finished” his “course…kept the faith.” He had run his lap with faithfulness and focus, “not as uncertainly” but “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher” of his faith, and now he was prepared to pass that awesome responsibility on to another. It was time to encourage young Timothy to “hold fast,” “be strong,” “endure hardness,” “instruct others,” to take the baton and run!
Who are you mentoring in the faith? We are all called to disciple others, to encourage our fellow racers, to prepare the next generation to “run the race with patience.” As Christians, we should be as committed as the most dedicated athlete to finish well and to pass the baton with precision. My heart’s desire mirrors that of Paul, that my former student will “be strong,” “hold fast,” and “instruct others,” and that someday, if the Lord tarries His return, that small plastic baton will be passed on to a third generation.
II Timothy 2:2 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.
Lord, help us to learn to pass the baton on to the next generation. Help us to be mentors to those who follow us, training them to carry on the task of sharing the gospel.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1070-6393f63f3a0aa' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1070&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1070-6393f63f3a0aa' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1070-6393f63f3a0aa' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>