Growing a fruitful family tree
If you do a Google search on the word “genealogy,” you get about 43 million hits. Quite a popular topic. The dictionary defines genealogy as “an account of the descent of a person, family or group from an ancestor; the study of family pedigrees; or an account of the origin and historical development of something.”
The Bible spends a fair bit of time recording genealogies with the implication that it is important to know whom we are descended from and that we all should know something about our family histories. The genealogies in the Old Testament can be somewhat difficult to follow, but there are many helps available. Biblical Genealogical Diagrams, showing some elements of kinship and family organization, is an Old Testament website from the University of Minnesota Duluth. http://www.d.umn.edu/~jbelote/bible2.html
In the more immediate history, do you attribute some of your characteristics to your parents or grandparents? Many of us are proud of our heritage and of the mark our families have made in our communities. But do remember, there is no perfect family. “Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.” (Author unknown)
Perhaps more importantly, we should be concerned about our descendents. Will your children, grandchildren and further generations relate positive aspects of your character? Do they know you are praying for them? Will they repeat examples of your faithfulness to their children?
“The lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time.” (“A Psalm of Life,” 1839, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Perhaps Jon Mohr was thinking of this quote when he wrote, “We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road and those who’ve gone before us line the way. Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary -- their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace. Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run the race not only for the prize, but as those who’ve gone before us. Let us leave to those behind us the heritage of faithfulness passed on through Godly lives.
“Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful. May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey. Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.”
May the God-given fruits shaken from your tree have a lasting effect on your family.