Tim Throckmorton: The fruit of our lives

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 23, 2023

Me, I enjoy the simple things in life — Sipping iced tea on the porch during a hot afternoon, the smell of honeysuckle in the air and a slow walk through the park with my wife.

Jesus reminded his followers over and over about the importance of abiding or staying connected to Him, He speaks of the fruit that our lives are supposed to bear and the long-lasting effect it is designed to have on those who follow in our footsteps.

All this begs the question, what fruit will remain as a reminder of our lives to those who will follow?

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What will those who follow us enjoy because of us? With thoughts of my grandchildren’s future in mind, I wonder what kind of world, what kind of culture, what kind of government will I be responsible for leaving them?

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” the psalmist wrote. Confronted with the absence of the influence of the scriptures in the classroom, which for the record were used in public schools as curriculum for the first 170 years of our nation’s history!

What kind of nation will my descendant’s enjoy…because of me? What will those that follow me in this life have to enjoy and benefit from because of my life?

I’m not talking so much about tangible things as I am speaking of spiritual and moral issues that confront us daily. I want to leave those who follow in my footsteps a clear moral and ethical roadmap to blessing and success.

You may have heard of the Tytler cycle. If not listen in… The following quote is attributed to Scottish history professor Alexander Tyler in 1787, “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to poor fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

He goes on to say, “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage”

What a profound and troubling thought. What fruit will we leave the next generation?

Lastly, I asked myself the question, what will the fruit of my life teach those who will follow?

Perhaps you have read the book and heard the phrase, ”The Greatest Generation.” We heartily celebrate the lives of those who have fought for our freedom and laid the groundwork for all we enjoy today, and I think to myself, what a thrill to be called that.

To be identified with the greatest generation who forged ahead in the face of incredible adversity and difficulty to make this nation even greater than when it was handed to them. The nation is great because of them, because of what they taught us with their lives and influence.

But what about us? What about those who will walk in the park, plant the flowers and drink iced tea long after we are gone? What will they have, because of us? What will they enjoy because of us? What will they have learned because of us?

The scriptures of course give us great advice regarding our future and the future of those that follow… “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

May we never forget and may we always seek the Lord in our personal lives, in the lives of our families and in our nation.

Someone wisely said, “The fruit of our lives grows on the trees of others.”

I believe that and I also believe that we were in the United States of America have the richest soil and the greatest opportunity to pass along to generation that follow a bright and hope filled future. The choice is ours to make. I want my life to bear fruit, and I want it to bear fruit that will remain!

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.