The NBA Conference finals this year have been, perhaps more than ever before, a study in generational differences. In the East, the aging Celtics, pursuing arguably their last legitimate shot at an NBA title, have been battling the younger Miami Heat, led by Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. In the West, a similar struggle is taking place. The veteran San Antonio Spurs—with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli—have been going at it with Kevin Durant and the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder. Both of these conference battles have seen the struggle between age and youth, energy and experience, and the future and the past (or at least the present). It is pro basketball’s very own generation gap—and it has been fascinating watching the two conferences playing this drama out.
As followers of Christ, however, we do not need to allow the elements of age versus youth to be a point of conflict. In a very real way, every generation brings its own strengths to the service of the kingdom—and all generations can benefit as a result. The older generation can bring the wisdom learned through long years of hard experience, and the younger generation can bring its energy and vision for the future. Both are reflected in this proverb: “The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head” (Proverbs 20:29).
As we allow one another to bring what God has given us to the table as fellow-citizens of the kingdom, the church of Jesus Christ can be stronger and of more impact than ever before. But first, we must realize that this is not a matter of competition between the generations. It is a matter of appreciation for one another as fellow followers of Christ.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain