Happy 90th Birthday Grandpa!
Family is very important to me. Not just the ones I grew up with or the ones I know best. I also love the family that raised my parents, and their family that raised them. It’s important because family is about the past, present, and future, which all leave a legacy.
In my family's past you will find much failure, but you will also find much success. You will find hardships, times of plenty and times of want. You will find travelers, artists, teachers, bakers, farmers, and many more skilled workers. The older generations carry with them vast wisdom from life lived, and if we have a listening ear, we might learn a thing or two about how to live better today. It’s easy to want to cover up things in the past--hurts, bad choices, that one uncle that no one talks about.
However, we forget that family is not about being perfect. It’s not about always making the right decisions. This makes me happy because I don’t know anyone’s family that doesn’t have hurts, struggles, and sin. If it were about having perfect families, we would all fall short and it would be a very depressing fact. We are coming into the Christmas season to celebrate the birth of our Savior and even he came from a line of sinful men and women. Let's not cover up the past--embrace it and let it show Christ’s grace that flows out from your family. It can transform lives and repair broken relationships.
After you look at the past generations and gain wisdom and lessons from them, you then have to live in the present with the crazy family you have right now. I think I speak for everyone when I say “I have the craziest family.” They might be crazies, but I love them. They know how to push my buttons, tear me down, and build me up. Because we grow up with them we tend to extend less grace because they should “know” better when they hurt us, right? But that is not the gospel. Jesus was born to save us. While we were still sinners he came and died for us, not because we deserved it, but because of grace.
Finally, how we live today will affect the future generations. We can’t just eat whatever we want, or live anywhere, or buy anything. Everything we do will have some sort of affect on future generations, good or bad. Many of our fathers and grandfathers rose to the occasion of protecting us during World War 2, fought the great depression, and passed legislation, all of what leads us to today's struggles and successes.
So what is your legacy going to be? Will you look back at history and learn wisdom and see God's grace? Will you live in the present by loving your family and showing them the grace Christ has shown you? Will you act now and plan for the future? It starts with working hard, becoming artists, bankers, lawyers, judges, farmers, doctors, architects, all in the name of Christ and His kingdom. Sing loud, eat well, play hard, live a fantastic life, and in the end, may He get all the glory.