Last evening I had the rare privilege of dining with all of my paternal cousins who live in Florida as part of a brief but wonderfully refreshing respite from winter in upstate New York. Such experiences always put me in touch with our common heritage and bring our parents and grandmother present whether or not they appear in the conversation as they did last night. There are connections that do not exist with any persons outside of our genetic pool – one would call them “cell memory” – that make it easy to be together regardless of time elapsed between visits. And then there is our “catch-up” on the lives of the next generation – or two.
I was still in a grateful state as I sat to this task today and read the message of Moses to his people from the Book of Deuteronomy (4:1, 5-9). Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live…Observe them carefully for thus you will give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations who will hear of all these statutes and say, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people. However, take care and be seriously on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and your children’s children.”
Although we are now the “seniors” of the clan and have gone in many directions in our lives, it is still clear to me that not only the laws but the underlying values passed to us still guide us and are evident in those who carry them on into a future that we cannot even imagine. And that is reason to give thanks.