Friday, July 29, 2005

Analysing My Roots

Dad was in a jolly mood when he got back from the pub last night. He was telling me a story about my Grandad, how he punched a police constable so hard once, his helmet flew off and span round in a shop doorway for what seemed like forever. I wonder what that was all about?

It would seem that's where i get my subversive streak from... the part of me that doesn't trust authority without good cause. However, as I have got older I've come to the realisation that I have more in common with my mother and father's maternal ancestors than their father's families.

From the Barnett's I have inherited a sense of zeal, and share the importance of having faith as a priority in your life.

From the Chambers' I have inherited the rural easy going and compassionate strengths... as well as a strong love of all things wild in nature. I've curiously also picked up my Great Grandfather's habit of sometimes talking with the palm of my hand tucked behind the back of my head... all without ever knowing him.

I'm not saying that I'm not my own person, I'd never believe that. I've always believed that we are more... much more than the sum of our parts. All I am saying, is that the old proverb "whats past is prologue" is true. Your background and how you you were raised do play a part in the person you become... but you always have a choice to resist the way you have been groomed, and your choices in life are your own.

I do think there is some important things to learn from our family history. We can learn a lot about ourselves from looking at our ancestors. Similarly, if we have not been comfortable with what we have been raised with, we can always look beyond our immediate experience. We are told in the Old Testament, that King Josiah looked at his family history and decided not to worship the Baal's, instead he saw that King David his ancestor worshipped the one true God of Israel, and decided to walk down that path.

This is the reason in his life, why when the Book of the Law was found, he fell on his knees and wept. Even though those around him probably thought he was a good king (not hard after they had a previous bozo king like Manasseh), and yet he still had room in his heart to recognise it was not enough. He still saw it was important to put himself right before God.

So much so, that when he died it was said of him that there was never a king who turned to the Lord to such a degree, either before or after him. High praise indeed.

King Josiah is a hero of mine, I can only hope I have the humility, courage of conviction and steadfastness of Spirit that he displayed in confronting the disobedience in his own heart and his own country.

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