December 27, 2018
The Myth of Traditions
The beauty of tradition is that it’s familiar. It’s comforting without any effort. It’s a warm tingly feeling without the blanket. It’s the random smile appearing on your face from a minute thought. It’s the safety you feel with the presence even though no one’s standing around. It’s the hidden treasure that created the base of you and still stems through, each and every day. It’s what formed you, right in front of everyone’s face.
Many of us have roots. Roots that were planted long before we graced this planet, and long before we were ever imagined. We’ve got roots that stem from hurt and pain. Roots that stem from pleasure and gladness. We’ve got roots that tell a story, one that remains untold until you find the hidden place of our glory. We’ve got roots that we ran from, one’s that we wished we could put away and never find. We’ve got roots that stem from ugliness, a dark place we wouldn’t dare want to find. We’ve got roots that date back so far one would wonder where we really came from. We’ve got tradition, things we couldn’t break, even if we tried.
I went home Monday.
Home as in, Sacred Heart Guadalupe Catholic Church.
I walked through the doors of the shrine and felt at home even though I’ve been away for years. One could inquire how I can consider this home considering the fact that City of Truth Church is my church home and has been over the last four years. Nonetheless, I scanned the room for familiar faces; Gloria singing our harmonic melodies, Arturo sitting in the back but making his way to the front to put an offering up to Jesus, friends that I was baptized with as a small girl, and lastly my family.
It’s sort of a tradition as a Hispanic-Christian to be Catholic, at least it is for my family and most of those in Mexico. To further celebrate the holiday my niece and have have spent the last two weeks going over the story of Esau and Jacob and how one change to the families tradition created a long line of despair for one individual.
With this trade; tradition was forgotten and contempt was brewed – the sacrifice of one’s birth right for the others bowl of soup.
I kept asking God what should be revealed because for one I couldn’t understand how Esau could give up his birthright, for a bowl of soup, and then have the nerve to show contempt for his birthright. It just didn’t make sense and so we kept reading it and then it dawned on me. Esau is and was many of us that walk the face of the earth some odd two thousand years later.
Tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.
During the days of Esau it was tradition for the first born son to receive the accolades that would come from his father. That meant the wealth, the authority, the most honor, and praise. As Esau came home from hunting I’m sure he didn’t plan to trade his riches of his future, for the soup that would give him riches for right now, but as he entered that kitchen his fate had already been chosen and he’d come to regret it from the moment he made it, to the last moment he rested.
Just like Esau we forget the importance of tradition – the value it truly holds until it’s no longer in our grasp. We forget why we cherished it. Why we honored it. Why we kept it going all these years later. We forget until it’s painfully hard to remember.
The beautiful thing about people is that eventually, we remember. We snap out of our daze and grab ahold of our senses. Eventually the freshness of those budding flowers is so close under our nose, we’d think the scent were our own. Maybe not every detail, but we remember. We remember the importance that those traditions held and how they molded us into who we truly are.
As I walked through the doors of the shrine I knew the feeling, the smell, and the comfort quite well but the foreign contempt feeling I had sat dormant until I lowered myself into the pews. I remember feeling as if to sit here in this service was a disservice to my current home church. A disservice to my community outreach. Even a disservice to my current relationship with GOD.
For some reason my tradition and roots were looked at as a measly part of me but surely not a defining part. It’s quite comical when I reflect on it days later but surely, I held no smile on my face inside of that shrine. Honestly, I looked at the place and asked myself why’d I even ventured over the threshold.
See like Esau I didn’t honor, value, or appreciate my home church until it was one I didn’t frequent. I walked through those doors and wore contempt simply because I didn’t know what was given to me the first time around. My stance was high and mighty until I walked out and realized that without that place the very course of my life that I’m currently on would have been altered, just as Esau’s was.
The word speaks of the Father of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. See, the beauty of God is that even before you know what you were going to do he did. Esau had no clue what the day would hold when he arose out of bed, and neither did Jacob, but the Lord still had a plan. This fact alone makes one wonder how many opportunities of blessings we pass up simply because we didn’t value what we had, until it was no longer ours to own.
Like when God attempts to take something from your grasp and you continuously struggle to take it back. Or when we think our plan is better than his and so at each turn we rock the boat until we reach the shore. Or when we sacrifice a hefty price of what could’ve been for what should be right now.
This story and this holiday have to be one of my favorites! Not only because it involves Jesus, tradition, and family, but because it makes me take a hard look in the mirror. A look at who I am in my core and I hope you do the same.
-Altaqlid, Sonneblom Lex
*This was a different piece for me! I don’t often talk about my religion or go in depth on this site but I’m a Jesus lover so there’s no shame in my game. If you enjoyed this piece be sure to share it with a friend or two and leave me some comments so I can continue to improve.
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