In our lifetime we have an infinite number of opportunities to be a positive or negative force in the lives of those around us. Many times in a day we choose to be kind, to be attentive, to be willing to be inconvenienced for the good of another, even someone we do not know and who cannot possibly ever repay us. Or we don't. This is the core of my faith, the ultimate answer to the question, "What Do I Believe Jesus Would Do if He Were With Me Today?" (Not as trendy as the WWJD, but I feel more to the point.)
Today I attended a family reunion, 95 of my closest relatives! We have our share of warts and bruises and have unthinkingly carried from one generation to another errs, attitudes and behaviors that need a good look followed by serious adjustment. But we are also strong, funny, smart, kind, loving, hard working and darn good lookin'. We are six generation of descendants of New England stock who immigrated to the Great Plains, before the beginning of the 20th century who were themselves descended from folks who arrived in the New World 250 years and more ago.
Each of our ancestors endured hardship, challenges, changing times and changing locales in ways that made our life today possible. I was the oldest of the "grandkids" since my slightly older cousin could not make the trip, making me part of the top half on the age scale and I saw a lot to be delighted with and hopeful about in those younger generations. Tender, caring parents with humor, generations enjoying and care for one another. Folks lovin' on one another, some almost certainly for the last time, given the fact that any of us can be called home at any moment and many came from long distances.
So maybe it is not too surprising that today's reading from Esther 4:14 paraphrased struck a cord: "Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created." Or maybe one of the moments for which you were created.
What legacy will our heirs six generations out understand from what we do here today, and tomorrow and for the rest of our tomorrows? Are we stepping toward God or are we distracted and unintentional as we move ahead? What choices might be worth considering?
We are important, each of us. We make a difference every day. What difference will you make today?