Every Tuesday, as part of my new Tennessee rhythm, I have the opportunity to attend a bible study that has been occurring for over 30 years now. This bible study is known as the Franklin Fellowship. My good friend, Hal Hadden will often be found teaching. It is truly a weekly highlight for me.
You see, every Tuesday without fail this basement room is filled with 60 to 75 men from all races, socio economic backgrounds, denominational traditions and ages. It is such a picture of the kingdom among us. Men who have walked with Jesus longer than I have been alive. Men who have encountered some of life’s greatest challenges and have overcome. Men who are in the fight of their lives. Men who are committed to exalting Christ and learning how to walk with the Master more fully.
Many Tuesdays, as I look around the room while Isaiah is praying or while Michael is leading worship, (I know I should be focused) I realize that I am the “youngest guy in the room.” I don’t hate this….I actually deeply appreciate it. Being present among such life, experience, depth and strength sures up the mortar in my soul each week. The men that I get to share a small part of my week with have a history with God. They are men with an experience.
As I reflected on my time this week, I wrote in my journal some of the things I get to draw from every week from these “sages”:
- Strength – They have not grown weary…No quitters are in that room…Just by being there let’s me know they have let go of QUIT!
- Wisdom – They have walked thru so much and have gained the ability to see and choose WISELY!
- Experience – I have often said, “A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”
- Scars – Life is not all beautiful. Many of them bear in their bodies the scars of pain, disappointment, sickness, battle…BUT scars don’t just show wounds, they display WHOLENESS!
- Miles – These men have walked the path of a LONG obedience in the same direction!
Isaiah 40:31, they are walking and not fainting.
To those reading today, treasure those around you. Beyond that, seek out persons who are twice your age! Initiate a relationship with someone 10, 20 or 30 years older than you. The body of Christ is most beautifully expressed with multigenerational unity! Love and respect will foster this relationship and ultimately the beautiful exchange that can occur from one another.
One of my greatest hopes for Christ Chapel is that we, both 7 and 70 year olds together, will behold the BEAUTY and BRILLIANCE of JESUS CHRIST!