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The Rev. Dr. Richard C. Lamb: What are we handing down?

I'm the second child in my family. And so I frequently inherited my older brother's clothing. Mother was an excellent seamstress, which was fortunate, at times. Then one day my parents took me into town to a clothing store and bought me a new suit! I must admit that sometimes I looked through the "hemline" dimly.

Life is not always same old, same old. Change is always in the wind. And life is always touched with hope. The Dow Jones has been up, despite low proclamations by the "bad news bears." What a hand-me-down!

The pace of life has quickened. Being on the run is almost commonplace. It threatens to become a way of life. You've noticed the dangerous speeds on the highways and the wild attempts to weave in and out of traffic, all just to move up a notch or two. Sometimes there is a pileup; then traffic slows down temporarily to horse and buggy speed. I wonder how deeply that haste will affect our lifestyle, our thinking, our peace and our neighborly pursuits. What are we handing down to the onrushing generations?

Long ago science danced to the tune of the religious understanding of the cosmos. Then Galileo's findings about the relationship between the earth and the sun were accepted. It seemed like a spring break! Humans felt important! Education and the arts began to flourish -- just like a boy getting a new suit of clothes.

Today we live in a free land. We have the freedom to worship as we please. We have a government of the people, by the people and for the people -- a great hand-me-down. It is a freedom that may always be challenged.

I'm inspired by the strides we have made in education and the challenges that led to racial and social integration. We appreciate the benevolent kindness that has moved in us and led to forming organizations to help needy people. How great!

When I look at creation, gaze at the beautiful, surrounding hills, I'm grateful for that wonderful gift that has been handed down to us. And I salute the early settlers that carved a niche in the wilderness and set our civilization in motion.

We are blessed, and we are encouraged to be a blessing. Can we hear that knock on the door, the call of the past and the love from above, asking us to be a blessing?

What shall we hand down to onrushing generations?

Dr. Lamb is parish associate for First Presbyterian Church, Charleston


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