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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Back when I was in High School, I was one of many students on a field trip out of town. As we were getting off the bus, I remember the bus driver telling one of the students, who happened to be his daughter, "Don't forget who you are". It struck me so funny that when I got back home, I related the the story with my own parents. Their reaction was one of complete agreement with the bus driver. They then told me that hopefully I hadn't forgotten who I was.
It took me a while, but eventually I realized just what they were talking about. On this particular field trip we were representing not only our school and community, but in a way we were representing our family as well. Back then, people put a lot of stock into their reputation. They wanted to be shown in the best possible light. Parents wanted to be proud of their children, not ashamed.
In the movie, "The Lion King", Mufasa reminds Simba "Remember who you are". I can still remember the voice of James Earl Jones as he expressed a similar sentiment to the one expressed but that bus driver many years before.
Sometimes I feel that I have to live up to certain standards that have been set by my family. I think of how my Grandparents, Wilbur and Agnes Goehring sponsored a family from Latvia. If I could, I'd show you a picture of the house they lived in at the time. They had something like 5 or 6 kids at the time in this tiny house! And yet there was something, some natural or supernatural force that called them to share their meager existence with a family of 4 from another country. It wasn't easy, it couldn't have been. Can you imagine this TLC reality show in the making? But has difficult as having this family sharing their living space was, something wonderful happened. This family got to live the American Dream. They were able to find work and move out of the house, into another state. This one act of faith has resulted in a blessing to the family that has grown to 3 generations. As incredible as that is, it's only one of the many wonderful things that Wilbur and Agnes did. They have been an positive example to everyone sharp enough to learn from it.
Then we have my other pair of grandparents, E.E. and Bergit Hinkle.They may not have taken in another family to show them blessing beyond measure, but they did many extraordinary things, mainly because they had to. One never truly knows what they can do until the need arises. You'd have never found Grandad and Grandma at Occupy Wall Street. They might have agreed with the cause, but they would be too busy working to do much about it. I'm not sure they'd have agreed with all the pot smoking and urinating on police cars either. Grandad always inspired me to always try and do important things, things that would make a difference in the world. I've never really had the chance to do that. It could be that there is no way for me to do that. Perhaps nothing in my part of the world needs changing.
It wasn't until well after Grandad died that I realized I didn't have to do anything big or important, I just have to do the best I can and leave the rest up to God. It's true that I don't share my living space with a family, but I have sponsor a youth from Kenya. Until I am able to do something more difficult, that will have to do for now. It's only by God's grace that I am able to help anyone. Right now, nobody needs my help, but like the proverbial boy scout, I'll be prepared when called into action! Until then, God be with you and do the best you can!
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