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Ed Jordan: Enriching the Next Generations

Posted: 2/2/19 at 8:20am. Column by Ed Jordan. 

This weekend we had the opportunity to hear a phenomenal musical presentation by Meagan Taylor and Jason Coleman, as they performed in this year’s Concerts by the Bay series in Mathews, VA.

Meagan, the niece of Chet Atkins, represented Chet well through her beautiful guitar techniques. Jason’s grandfather was Floyd Cramer, and Jason wowed the audience with his Grandpa’s music and piano style.

Together they brought Chet’s and Floyd’s music into the present and carried us into the future via their blend of exceptional instrumental and vocal blending.  

I have had the privilege to hear some astounding musicians in my life, and these two are right up there with the best. They were humble, personable, and complimented each other’s abilities.

.The concert was a journey through the musical lives of Chet and Floyd and the way their musical abilities impacted several decades of Nashville music and musicians. These two young adults shared their lives and music with us, as well as some of what they learned from their mentors.  

With whom are you taking time to influence through your love, values, faith, and skills, so that 30 years from now they will be sharing with others the things that they learned from you?

They shared video films of Floyd mentoring Jason, from a very young age, in piano playing and performing. Chet helped Meagan with such things as a school interview and her first efforts to play a fiddle. What was impressive was how Floyd and Chet were willing to take the time to teach the younger generation.

The skills and character that these two young musicians displayed did not just happen on its own. They are the products of things done intentionally, and out of love, by their family.

Now some of the values and music of Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer are living on two generations later, through two people that they took time to mentor when they were children and teens.

Now the question that occurred to me was, what if Chet hadn’t invested that time with his niece? What if Floyd had not spent many hours investing his life and skills in his grandson?  

The legacies of these two men would remain, but it would not be a living legacy. Meagan and Jason are living out and spreading the legacies of their mentors. The music of Chet and Floyd lives on through them, while they add to that legacy through their own performances.

Unfortunately, I think that this kind of cross-generational mentoring is quickly becoming extinct in our culture. Many adults have become so busy that we don’t take the necessary time to build strong relationships with our kids, spouses, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

In our rush to provide the kids with things and gadgets, we become too busy to simply be with them. Further, the kids are becoming accustomed to becoming users rather than producers. Why put effort into creating or making something when we can just buy it? 

It is becoming rarer and rarer for families to attend worship together or sit down to talk and eat together. Our children’s sources of information and values are often their peers or various websites, rather than family members and older mentors.

In our rush for riches, we have lost the richness of family life.  

Are you taking the time and effort to invest your life, and lessons learned into the next generation, into the second generation of people you know?

With whom are you taking time to influence through your love, values, faith, and skills, so that 30 years from now they will be sharing with others the things that they learned from you?

Jesus poured his life into his twelve disciples. They passed on to many others the things that they learned from Jesus, and the things that Jesus had done in their lives. Each of the people they influenced shared with others the things that changed their lives, and today more than two billion people claim to have a common love for Jesus, who started it all.

Paul instructed Timothy, and each of us as Christians, to mentor others. In 2 Timothy 2:2 (NASB95) we read: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these things to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”

What skills do you have that you can pass on to others? What things have you learned about God, or living for God, which you need to pass on to people in the generations coming after you? How can you intentionally begin to do this?

ed-jordan2Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.