Recently our grandsons, Andy & Sam, came to spend the week with us and my wife had a host of activities planned that they could enjoy together. One of these was making "stepping stones." These stones are made by mixing concrete and pouring it into a plastic cast; then decorating it with marbles, colorful stones, and "meaningful words."
Making stepping stones is not a new activity for our family. In fact, my wife did this very same activity with our children when they were young and we still have one of the stones (made for their mamma-d and D-dad) in our garden.
In Paul's second epistle to Timothy, in chapter one (vs. 5) he says, "I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For Paul, faith was like an inheritance (or possibly a family heirloom) that can be passed on from one generation to another.
At Christmas time my wife pulls out decorations which used to adorn her grandmothers tree, then were placed on her parents tree, and now find a place on our tree. In essence there is nothing especially valuable about these ornaments, other than the fact that they represent memories of good times, family activities, and love.
Faith, hope, and love; these are the true "stepping stones" that help families find their way forward. But these qualities are often found by times spent together: praying together, vacations and trips taken together, reading, laughing, and playing together. And I'm willing to bet that one day, as our kids and grandkids see these stones planted in their yards, they will remember wonderful times they spent with their "Tumna" and perhaps these memories will stepping stones of love and joy for generation to come.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.