I recently started using Proton Mail, it provides end-to-end encrypted email through a web interface and mobile app. It will replace all other clients for me and I’ve started to delete my footprint(s) on Yahoo, Outlook and Gmail – In that process I came across my responses to a series Sunny did for her blog where she asked
Powerful & Disturbing, Jeremiah 32:18
You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the father's sins into the laps of their children after them
It wasn’t until I sought clarity that caused my understanding of this verse to move from what I heard in hip-hop lyrics & barbershop philosophy to SHIFT. When I Am … selfish, when I Am … quick to anger, when I Am … sinful, I Am … not the only one my sins affect. We [Father’s] pass on these patterns, lay them in our children's laps & they carry them.
We receive an inheritance; more than a financial gift, the inheritance we receive from our environment and primarily our parents is the determining factor of why we are the way we are. It’s growing up with BIG mama teaching us to fold towels a very specific way & having that belief imprinted in our thinking allows us to be critical of anyone who doesn’t fold them the ‘correct’ way. Our inheritance is an assumption that our way of living, our way of thinking is right & secretly [or openly] we feel that others’ ways are wrong. Our parents, schools, culture and churches most times reinforce these beliefs. “I don’t care how your family folds towels, it is wrong! Our family will fold towels exactly like this.” This selfish view and the convictions they are born from become part of the endowment we collect and pass along.
Inheritance flows into us, legacy flows out.
The tugging in my body & soul over this past year wasn’t the anxiety of turning another year older, it wasn’t the thought of any failures or regrets, it wasn’t about not being where I believe I should be but it IS about needing to make an impact, knowing that my existence matters. The desire in our heads & hearts to make an impact on the lives around us; inspire us, embolden us to focus on the legacy we leave behind. We can pass on selfishness, anger and sin with no effort, especially if we want to repeat the wounds of our inheritance, our father’s sins.
This year’s wish is for a conversion, a transformation, the guidance of my true Father’s hand upon my life to transform the legacy I will leave with others.
I Am … transforming my legacy.
Coming of Age
To get older, to mature, to gain wisdom, to survive….With the passing of time many of these things and more can take place. I know for me they have. Some specific ages came with goals automatically attached to them. At 15 start working. My first job was a ride operator at Playland. At 16 legally drive. My first car was a Hyundai Excel 89’. At 18 I hit the stores to cop Philly blunts for the crew and at 21 I had legally purchased my $21 bottle of Bacardi Limon. It’s fun to think back on but in that jumble of young antics; by the grace of god I avoided other age associations. Incarcerated youth, High School Drop Out, “Baby Daddy”…..all those pitfalls of the American black man I avoided during my 20’s. And believe me I was hella close to a couple of those situations.
Now with age I see purpose, legacy, meaning in movement. What do I stand for? The truest values of life now run through my head as I navigate the current storm of change that is this nation. As time flies by we put more candles on the birthday cake. Perception changes every year, so what are you wishing for before you blow out your candles?
The older I get, the more aware I am of the inevitability of death. Or....the value of life. When I was younger, I had this romanticized notion of death. Of dying of old age, surrounded by generations of loved ones. Of having achieved every goal and dream and dying simply because there was nothing left to do. And everyone died this way. Now, of course, I wish I paid more attention to the lives around me, and the reality that death is. My grandparents are all gone, as well as my mother and several others. I would give anything to have just one good conversation with any of them. I have always been interested in listening to other's life stories, but lately, have been asking more questions, and being more open to sharing my own experiences. This happiness/pain/love/loss/success/failure...this...life that we all have is to be shared with each other. This is how we achieve that sense of immortality. We share with others, and they remember us and hopefully, share with others. The older I get, the more I realize that there will come a point where I... we.. will age no more. But we can still live on.
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