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What Our Children Will Ask

handsupHuffington Post
4 March 2014

I know the questions our children will ask
When they stop long enough to think of the past.
Was there ever a summer when heat didn’t kill,
ever a harvest when the grain bins were filled?

Was there ever a time when we didn’t fear rain,
When the skies were not angry and the rivers were tame?
Was there ever a year when no species were lost
to what people did without measuring the cost?

Was there ever a time when nature was kind,
when we thought of her warmly as a friend of mankind?
Did the breezes blow lightly, did spring come with grace,
did the snow ever fall at a far gentler pace?

Was there plenty of water? Was it cool, clean and clear?
Did you know that one day it might not be here?
Was our soil ever fertile rather than spent?
Were our forests majestic, were people content?

Did you know that despite all the world’s demarcations
that we were much more than separate nations?
Did you know you were linked to every thing else,
profoundly connected to more than your self?

Did you ever acknowledge the realization
that God made us stewards, not kings of creation?
Did you ever imagine the world you could build
beyond making sure that your gas tanks were filled?

Did you think of the health of our generation
or only of pleasure and gratification?
Did you know of the heights that humans could reach
when “better angels” were more than just figures of speech?

Did you work for a time there would be no more war,
no cruelty, bloodshed or hopelessly poor?
Did you work for a world that was better than yours
where life had more meaning than settling scores?

Did you reach out to save it as it slipped away,
or ignore all the changes that were underway?
Did you ever regret the pain you begat?
Did you realize that you all were better than that?

Did you think of your duty to all of the years
our forefathers sacrificed blood, sweat and tears
to build a new nation and work to conceive
a great civilization where people agreed
that we all have a contract– a duty to leave
a future the Founders most surely believed
was within our power and will to achieve?

Our scientists told us what we had to know:
We were crossing a line where we shouldn’t go.
Did you fight the deniers who said at the brink,
“You can lead us to science, but you can’t make us think.”

Did you hope that our God would show up to save us
when you failed to use the brains that he gave us?
Now the world you enjoyed is out of our reach.
We’ve slipped down humanity’s hierarchy of needs.

As Fuller once said with the greatest conviction,
We are here as world builders, not as its victims.
But we can’t be builders if we’re nonchalant;
We have to commit to the future we want.

Your lifestyles and worldview exacted great cost
but we’ll do all we can to regain what was lost.
The torch that you passed us had nearly gone out.
We’ll light it again so our kids have no doubt
that we loved them, our duty to them carried out.

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