Devotional by CUC Youth & Youth Director, Kristen Young
“One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts.” —Psalm 145:4 (NKJV)
Central Union Church is one of 119 churches that make up the Hawai‘i Conference United Church of Christ (HCUCC). This week is the HCUCC’s 200th ‘Aha Pae‘āina, an annual convention of leaders and representatives from all these churches who meet for worship, business, learning, and fellowship. This year’s theme is “Mai Kēia Hanauna a ia Hanauna Aku”, “From Generation to Generation”.
I asked some of the young people in our church, from elementary to college age, a couple questions in line with this theme. Here are their responses:
- What have you learned from the previous generation that continues to shape your life?
Take care of our planet and respect your mother.
Being the person who I choose to be is my best version.
Respect and responsibility.
Work hard and have a good attitude.
The huge importance of respecting those who are older than you. It is customary and it’s alright because they might have more experience than we do and they have interesting ways in teaching or passing knowledge to us. They taught me to adapt with different thinking minds and what techniques to use to be taken seriously when de-escalating a fight or simply giving a speech. Plus, the idea of the Lord being there in the darkest times was big for me. Wasn’t told enough, but it shows.
How to play sports and how to be a good kid.
If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime.
Everything is temporary. You can lose what you have in an instant, but that’s ok. Things happen for a reason, and that’s just life. The only thing to do is to keep going to the next thing/step.
You must live your life with values and principles. Be proactive with everything you do in life. Your life consists of the habits you do on a day-to-day basis so build a routine based on your priority and goals with your mental, physical, spiritual state. Put God in everything you do. Adopt a growth and abundance mindset that everything happened for you.
Loving and caring for each other, to stand up for myself.
I’ve learned to be quick to listen and slow to talk.
My parents taught me to respect people even if they are younger because in our culture we have little babies that are our uncles and aunties.
I learned that life will not always be a straight path.
Responsibility and independence played a huge role in my life. The previous generation taught me to preserve and rely mostly on my identity because Islanders are hard workers who can support themselves and their families.
I learned to never give up.
To work hard and not believe everything I hear but have my own beliefs.
- What do you want to pass on to the next generation?
I want to teach them how to be kind.
The hardest and scariest challenges in life could make you the person you need to be.
Giving my children my relatives’ name!
I will teach my kids how to be good.
Advancement isn’t always the best for our planet.
Respect and responsibility.
The idea of respecting authority in any perspective whether teachers or adults. Also The Bible can be used as a tool for when you are in dark times. It really does make an Impact.
Behaving themselves, care and love each other.
How to help others.
I will teach them to respect others and care for others.
To keep trying and trust in God.
Love for God and to turn to Him.
Keep trying and never give up on your dreams.
Never be scared to try new things.
Take care of the planet because it’s our only home.
Keep trying and trust God.
I’ve learned that my mistakes shouldn’t be hated, but rather taken as a learning experience. Because messing up sometimes is the only way to experience and learn.
Live your life with purpose.
It’s ok to ask for help. I definitely want to pass on the independence and responsibility but I learned from my own generation that we are surrounded by resources and people that can always help with your setbacks because not everything is easy in life.
Bonus question: What kind of world do you want for your children?
A special place
Filled with life
To keep our children safe from violence
A world where everyone is equal
Now, I invite you to reflect on the questions above for yourself.
In the ‘Aha Opening Worship service, guest preacher Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy reminded us of what Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Let’s also consider what we’ve learned from those younger than us!
Prayer: God, you are faithful from generation to generation. We give thanks for those who came before us and shared your love with us. We ask for the wisdom to know when to be teachers and when to be learners. Amen.