Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heritage

Alex Haley once wrote that family is the link to our past and the bridge to our future. With a future so fluid and past so rich in history and heritage, there has never been a time in my life when this was more clear to me.

In my short time in this world, life has gone through its repeating cycles. I have loved and lost, cried bitter tears, and received that comforting balm for my soul that only He can provide. I have dreamed of the past and of the future. I have hoped. I have mourned. And lately, I have remembered.

I have remembered things that I never knew, about people I have never known. My heritage is in my blood, my soul is a mirror of the past. The lives of thousands of generations have paved the way for me to be here in this moment. The hopes and dreams of those long gone echo in my head, my heart. Every step I take carries their lives forward, even though they are gone.

Such a heavy burden. There were those whose minds were greater than mine, whose loves were deeper, lives more meaningful. These, I think, would not begrudge me my own destiny. But many more lived lives of sacrifice, giving of themselves to protect the future. Me. I have a duty to carry their legacy on, to instill it in my own children. To make something of the life I have been given.

Their lives have taught me the folly of selfishness. To fail in this task, to unshoulder this weight, and to walk forward uncaring of the souls who have gone before me, and those who will come after, is the height of foolishness. I live my life not for myself, but for others. First and foremost for Him, but even to that extent, for others. To do anything else would waste the precious history that flows through my veins, that is embedded in the fabric of the world I live in.

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