It was a real joy that day to participate in the baptism of some young people in the waters of a beautiful lake. It was a really sacred moment for all of us in spite of the speedboat. Yeah, at one point it went blazing across the lake behind us. It was there. It was gone in a flash, but its wake wasn’t. No, for some time after that boat had disappeared, the waves it created kept rolling in on us. And, for a time, it actually interrupted the proceedings. Mr. Boat Guy probably never thought about the wake he was leaving long after he left. Oh, he was just passing through.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Waves You’re Making.”

If you’ve ever spent much time by a lake, it’s something you’ve experienced for yourself. Long after the boat has passed, the waves it created are still making an impact. Our lives are like that. Long after we’ve passed on, the waves that our choices have made are still impacting many other lives. In our “now is all that matters” culture, it’s easy to forget how much our choices matter and how long their effects last. It’s about so much more than just this moment.

God gives us a powerful values-clarifier in our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 102:18. He says, “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Wow, that hits me hard! I mean, God focuses our eyes on the big picture reason for doing the right thing, because what you do now will affect lives that have not even been born yet – generations you’ll never see! Think about it. You and I are continuing to benefit from the choices people made in previous generations. And to pay for choices that previous generations have made. They’ve passed by, but not the waves they created. They’re still rocking our life.

The psalm goes on to point out the long-lasting effects of making God’s choices your choices: “The children of Your servants will live in Your presence; their descendants will be established before You.” Again, multiple generations whose destiny will be shaped by what we do now. That is sobering!

So that compromise you’re making, or about to make, is it worth it in light of its long-range consequences? Is that taste of sin really worth the road it might take you down and the legacy it may leave? Is that fling really worth what it might do to you, to the people you love, to generations you may never see? How about that divorce? It will leave a mark for a long, long time. Maybe you’re tempted to return to the old you. But stop and think about generations that could feel the impact of that choice. Who you’re dating, who you sleep with, who you marry, even who your friends are – don’t think those are just decisions that affect only you and a few parts of your life. Again, we’re all still feeling the effects of those same choices made by people who went before us – when we were “the people not yet created.”

There’s so much more at stake in the choices we make and the way we live than we could ever imagine. Things are being passed from us to others, especially our children, who will in turn pass it on to those that they influence and who will in turn just keep it alive across generations.

Before you go speeding into what you may be considering, would you think about it and consider the waves your life is making? Make the choices that will cause those who follow you to bless your memory and to bless the God that you helped them find across the years.