We all have a history. Our history may go back only a few years to a different period in our lives with different challenges or it can go back one or two generation before us. The past is important but so is the present. The challenge is giving credit to the past without limiting what the present has the potential of becoming.
Both my maternal and paternal grandparents were pastors, evangelists and missionaries. My dad was a pastor for over 60 years. Do I naturally have a standard of ethics and a core belief system because of who my grandparents were and who my dad was? Maybe, not by accident. We are not automatically good because of who are grandparents were or our parents are. I believed in my grandparents’ faith and parent’s faith. I wanted be part of that. But I was not automatically signed into the faith.
[This is my paternal grandfather.]
My faith came when I gave my life to Jesus on day many, many years ago. Even though I have great faith and respect for my heritage, I must remember to let their faith give me a prospective but allow God to move my faith forward in the present.
My paternal grandfather wrote letters to his adult children for many years. I have a large notebook of these letters which are a delight to read. He was a great writer, a talent I would like to think was passed on to me. It was an extended blessing because I made a living with a writing business for about 20 years besides writing tracts and translating them to Spanish on the mission field.
[This my grandma and grandpa Finch. Note the typewriter on my grandpa’s lap. Yes, he was the writer.]
[This is my maternal grandfather.] My maternal grandfather, as well as being an evangelist and a missionary was a great gardener. I remember going to his house and picking savory fresh vegetables. But all the memories and love my grandpa had, I never managed to develop a love for okra!
My dad was also a pastor, an evangelist and a missionary. Yes, he probably had the most influence over my life. He was a good man of high morals, loyalty and phenomenal work ethics. Those three things have definitely been benchmarks in my life. He taught me how to mow a manicured lawn and how to paint a perfect wall including how to cut around a window so as to not get paint on the window pane.
[This is my dad. He loved flowers, something we both share.]
But my life is the present. I want my life to be reflective of what my family heritage provided but I want to live my life with more freedom and joy. I want to go further. I want to leave a heritage of all these qualities of my past and want to be a pipeline of those to ones coming behind me. I don’t know what my legacy will be, but what I want it to be a love so deep and unconditional that it will never be doubted by anyone coming after me.