When I was a child, I was really intrigued by the concept of time travel. I loved H.G. Wells, “The Time Machine,” and I enjoyed watching a number of other movies that had astronauts somehow finding themselves hurled through space to another time. Although time travel is just fantasy and will never be achieved, when I was a fourth-grader, we did the next best thing to time travel. We did a “time capsule.” You know, one of those boxes containing objects that reflect life as it is, then those items are sealed and opened at some point in the distant future. I believe the year was 1971 when we were asked to gather objects for our time capsule, and the best items would be placed in it. Some of the things that were placed in our time capsule were a newspaper, a school yearbook, a Duncan Yo-Yo, an SSP Racer (if any of you remember what those were), several 45’s of some of our favorite singers, and quite a few other items that I don’t remember. Anyway, the point of our time capsule was to inform people of another generation who we were and what we valued.
As I think back about that time capsule, I can’t help but think about our children. Our children are living time capsules we send to a time that we, ourselves will more than likely not see. When that time arrives, what judgments can be drawn about us when people examine the lives of our children? Now, before I go any further, I know that our children have free will and can resist our very best efforts to instill proper values within them. But would you not agree that as a general rule, a mother and a father have much to do with the values and lifestyle our children choose for themselves?
To me, it’s an compelling concept that holds the same intrigue for as did H.G. Wells, “The Time Machine.” Just recently, my wife, Kim, has been reading some old letters written by her grandmother, trying to teach her adult children the truth of the gospel that she, herself had recently learned. Letter after letter was written to her children, encouraging them to open their Bibles, study and obey. The results of her efforts paid off. This woman’s daughter and son-in-law, read her letters, studied the Scriptures she gave them, and obeyed the gospel. Not only that, but her son-in-law, my father-in-law, went on to serve as a deacon and an elder in the Lord’s church. They too had children, and instilled faith in both of their daughters. I married one of them. And we too have had children, and have tried to instill faith in them as well. Mrs. Irene Campbell, who passed away in 1969, never saw the year 2011, but what she “sent to the future” speaks much about who she was and what she valued.
Friends, just what are you putting into the “time capsule” of your children? Give it some thought.