I had a friend who had a very different response to storms. We were attending a rodeo together when a massive storm rolled through very suddenly. We headed to a big barn for shelter and she asked if i could take her twins off a ways to entertain them because she was so frightened of storms and was working diligently to not infect her children with a fear that she had found limiting in her own life.
I've thought of that often as I have raised my children. What am I teaching them to fear? What am I teaching them to hate? Even when I work so hard to be better, do better so my children will have a better life, generations of likes and dislikes seem to overflow into my life at times.
The fact I like rhubarb and gooseberry pies may cause my more sophisticated friends to giggle and that is all well and good. But when the experiences of my parents, grandparents, even back to 4X or 5X grandparents cause me to fear by habit or superstition, I am left exhausted, feeling I must examine every little thing, every thought or impulse to try to rid myself of any vestige of wrong thinking.
But there is an alternative. That is to work to rebuild my life free not only from errors planted by my ancestors, but also from whatever group-think is currently the rage in today's culture. This means the everything to me because I just don't have the capacity-- intellectually, morally or even physically -- to be sorting all this out on my own. I don't have to keep looking over my shoulder or be distressed by past family disputes or struggle through life trying to escape the fears of my forefathers and mothers or even my contemporaries.
No, God offers something so much better. God offers a life going forward. God offers a life of purpose where healing is on-going and builds us up to be people with purpose, with hope who dare to reach out to others who are longing for a better way of living. From our past we can extract good lessons, wisdom, even discover our calling but we do not have to do that on our own. God will help us release the stuff that is dragging us down and show us how God repurposes that same stuff, to inform our new way of living, for ourselves and for our heirs by God's truly Amazing Grace.
We, my friends, are being build together in Christ in ways that are mysterious, freeing and delightful. We have a new foundation strong enough to reach back and out in forgiveness and compassion because our foundation is built on the unshakable, unchanging, restorative, redemptive love of God for all of us.
So you are no longer outsiders and strangers. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are also members of God’s family. You are a building that is built on the apostles and prophets. They are the foundation. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in the building. The whole building is held together by him. It rises to become a holy temple because it belongs to the Lord. And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit Ephesians 2:19-22.