Many days I sit back and consider my life. I am generally overwhelmed with emotion when I think about how blessed my life has been. I think about the woman I am today and how who I am was so heavily influenced by my maternal grandparents.
When I was very young, I used to be embarrassed by the religious practices of my grandparents. They were Pentecostals, and if you know anything about this tradition, they (We) are very expressive and somewhat emotional in our faith, especially in worship. I remember how my grandmother would worship unrestrainedly while my grandfather was calm, relaxed, and collective. They were the best people on the planet, and I did not know just how much they meant to me until they were gone. I could be anywhere in the world, and I would call my grandmother just to say hi. I can still hear their distinctive voices encouraging me to run on!
My grandfather would sometimes sit in his chair in the front yard, and you would hear him singing to himself, “I’m gonna trust in the Lord. I’m gonna trust in the Lord. I’m gonna trust in the Lord until I die….” I can still hear those words, and some days I find myself singing them to myself.
Today, many years after they have gone, I find myself sitting and reflecting on them and their influence on me. Long before they left this earth, I was no longer embarrassed by them and the way they praised the Savior. Instead, I turned into them. My mind goes to the scripture today that reads, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation. To all who believe…” Romans 1:16. They were never ashamed. They served and praised God with all they had. They demonstrated true, deep-hearted worship to their King, and that, I believe, kept them from falling for anything.
Maybe that’s what the world needs today; people of faith committed to praise and worship rather than buying into the importance of popularity and worldly accolades. We have come a long way, but that may not always be the best. It may be time to stop laughing at old practices and reconnect to them. Maybe we will find our true selves again. That’s what I find myself doing these days. It may be because I am older. Whatever the reason, I know how important faith has been in my life, and I am thankful my faith-filled, expressive grandparents modeled it before me. I continue to do the same. Anything less would dishonor them.
What are you pushing back, ignoring, and refusing to enter your life? Maybe it’s time to stop and ask yourself will those aged practices help you? Perhaps they will or maybe not, but don’t dismiss something because it is aged; it might be the one thing that can bring you encouragement in discouraging times and value in times when the world may be making you feel worthless.