Thank God for What Was

     The first nine chapters of First Chronicles lists several generations beginning with Adam and concluding in the early sixth century B.C. Genealogies can be boring unless the genealogy happens to list your family. The more personal a document is, the more interesting it becomes.
     Age also helps pique one’s curiosity about the past. I find the older I become the more I want to know about the Wells’. My father’s eldest brother traced our family lineage back to a man named Richard Wells. Richard hailed from Whales dating back to the thirteenth century. Every year, the Wells’ family convenes at Armco Park in Ashland, Kentucky for a reunion. I only attended one time, but I recall being in awe of the generations represented.
     Sadly, we live in a world that presently looks forward much more than it does backward. Capitalism forces those who live within its economic system to pay attention to what lies ahead. We are always in search of the next deal or the next investment or the next promotion or the next house. Don’t get me wrong, I think Capitalism far outweighs any other commercial structure.
     However, I think we become poorer when we fail to stop and reflect upon the past, and particularly upon those who preceded us. Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” The truth is that none of us is an island unto ourselves. Much of what we are and hope to become can be traced directly to those who have gone before us.
     During this season of sheltering in place, I encourage family members to share their memories with one another. Retrieve old family albums from the attic. Tell stories of challenges that were met and milestones that were celebrated. Take time to thank God for those who have helped make you who and what you are today. Go back and take a stroll among the giants.