Plenty of great things are yet to come

Published 11:45 pm Friday, August 1, 2014

It was a Friday afternoon at the beginning of 1991. I sat in a gym waiting for Monique’s dance class to end, Operation Desert Storm dominated the national news, and I announced to my friends that I was expecting my fourth child. 

As excited as I was about the new baby, the round-the-clock television broadcasts of the war concerned me. I wanted to welcome a baby into a gentle world free of conflict.

Only when I remembered Jeremiah 29 did I find peace. 

A portion of the letter Jeremiah sent to the captives in Babylon instructed them to “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters.”

God used a message written over 500 years before the birth of Christ to tell me to go on with my life and keep moving forward even when life was not perfect.

Calm and quiet Elise Ann was born in September of that year and has grown into an independent thinker with a stubborn streak marbled throughout her sweet soul.

I’m not sure how she acts when I’m not around, but I was proud of the way she held her tongue recently while we shopped.

Elise grabbed my purchase to carry to the car and I said, “Don’t worry, it’s not heavy.”

She laughed, “Not for you. I’m the one carrying it.”

A passerby said, “That’s what wrong with your generation. Y’all are lazy. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” 

I was too surprised to respond and Elise kept walking. It would have been pointless to stop to defend Elise and her generation.

Given a do-over, I’d question the stranger’s decision to label an entire generation with one word and ask if encouragement might be better than judgment.

Do I have any concerns about this generation? Absolutely. And the last one and the next one.

I’ve never lived in a perfect time or place and won’t until Heaven. Until then, I will keep praying, moving forward and encouraging others to do the same. 

I’d like to look forward to the future with the same excitement as John Erskine.

Once an English professor at Colombia University and president of Julliard School of Music, Erskine was also a writer, composer and musician.

His wife wrote, “He was a good teacher because of his own excitement for learning and his trust in the future.”

He would tell her: “Let’s tell our young people that the best books are yet to be written; the best paintings have not yet been painted; the best governments are yet to be formed; the best is yet to be done by them.”

To Elise and her generation, I say, “Go for it.”


Ronny Michel may be reached at