Posted by Michael La Framboise on Saturday, October 25, 2014 Under: Meditations
“Grandpa.” Oh, how I miss him, for his memory and faithful legacy are at the root of all that I am.
When I was five, I remember watching the 1984 Summer Olympics and being fascinated by the gymnastics event on the rings. It was Grandpa who encouraged my athleticism and put up a pair of rings on a tree in his backyard where I could play, and pretend I was an Olympian. And there are so many other things I remember about him...
On a hot day he always had change for the coke machine at the church. We churned home-made ice-cream together every year for the 4th of July. When I mowed his lawn, he often came out and took care of the edging. As a child he often took me aside to find out who had picked his strawberries, or lost his remote control, or ate his ice-cream. Even though I had a sneaking suspicion that I had done something amiss, it somehow always felt that if someone should have ruined his garden or found his hidden stash of rocky road, it might as well have been his dear grandson. I learned something about that the other day, when my daughter called me at work to inform me she was eating all my ice-cream “because it was “Dad’s,” and “because we like the same things.” Somehow it’s okay to lose something, when you lose it to someone you love. I think my grandfather learned that long ago.
Grandpa was a man of God. He was a pastor during the last five decades of the 20th century, and his life is a wonderful testimony of faithfulness and love. I remember how on Saturday night he and grandma would place their tithe envelope on the kitchen stove. I remember how they enjoyed the music of the Gaither homecomings and would have them playing in the car. I remember walking into the church auditorium when no one was around, only to hear my grandpa playing at the piano. I remember thinking that I didn’t even know he played piano! I remember drawing pictures on the back of tithe envelopes in church while Grandpa preached; and often the pictures were of him standing behind his pulpit with a bubble-caption exclaiming: Repent! I remember mimicking him in the pew when he would call the church to prayer. As he knelt beside his pulpit, I would kneel just like him, and pretend that I was holding the microphone just as he did. I remember the example of a godly man and a loving Grandfather.
In our memories we find the roots of our life, and for some of us we find the roots of a godly heritage. For those like me who have been blessed with a spiritual legacy, it is vitally important to keep the roots of our spiritual heritage well watered with honor and respect, and even imitation. I remember one day when I was a boy, I helped Grandpa plant a flower bed in front of one of the buildings at his church. It was the first time I ever remember planting anything. Grandpa took care to teach me how to properly transplant the flower from the flat to the soil. He showed me how to carefully guard the roots during the transplant: “Don’t disturb the roots.” he said.
What a lesson this is for us: Don’t disturb the roots. In my life I can choose to despise my birthright and neglect my inheritance, and turn away from all that Grandpa taught, or I can commit myself to that eternal Kingdom to which he was so dedicated, and faithfully bestow upon my children that which was given to me. Don’t disturb the roots! I must guard that which was given to me. Don’t disturb the roots! I must be faithful to that which was instilled in me as a child and not depart from it. Grandpa believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and this moved him to serve the Lord all of his days. Will I carry on this legacy of faith, or will I disturb the roots of my life and cast aside my rightful inheritance.
One Sunday night several months ago, I had a wonderful vision of Grandpa’s deeply rooted legacy. As I was teaching the Scriptures I noticed my wife sitting near the back with our children. Nothing surprising, of course. However, the Spirit suddenly pressed a thought upon my heart. I imagined my Grandpa 50 years earlier preaching in his church, with his wife and children there with him. I was filled such joy at how the gospel lives on in my family because of how it was lived out in his family. He faithfully passed a godly inheritance, and now I must be faithful to do the same. Don’t disturb the roots!
As I look around, I wonder why some disturb their spiritual roots, and even uproot that which has been transplanted from previous generations into their life. I observe the consequences of their rootless living, and see the tragic results of their conduct and wonder how it is they don’t see their way back... to their roots. Jesus said He came to give life, and that more abundantly. That’s the life that Grandpa sought for his family, and for his grandchildren; but why do some of his own despise the goodness of God, except that it might lead them to repentance.
In the Bible, Jude admonishes us against those who are twice dead, pulled up by the roots! Once the roots are disturbed, often the flower is lost forever. Don’t disturb the roots, Grandpa said, Don’t disturb the roots!
In : Meditations
Tags: grandpa roots memories legacy faith life
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