One of the pastors who participated in the retreat of senior adult ministers that I attended in Little Rock a few months back shared a great quote with us from Elton Trueblood. I've found many of Trueblood's writings and statements to be helpful, but this one was really great.
Trueblood writes, "A person has made at least a start on understanding the Christian life when they plant shade trees under which they know full well they will never sit."
The same pastor at the retreat shared a devotional based on Ps. 71:17-18 (NIV) that highlights the importance of multi-generational faithfulness, encouraging us to look back, look now, look forward, and look beyond. I think you'll easily see in these verses the invitation to view life from these four perspectives.
Here's the text of that passage:
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.