I want to make it clear that the title of this piece isn’t original. On August 28, 2022, C. Dennis Edwards, I Pastor of Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas preached a sermon with the background scripture from Chronicles 24: 1-3. He handily made the point of how King Joash, ascending to the throne at age seven changed the story of his family’s time on the throne. His father, grandfather and great grandfather had been horrible kings, straying as far from God as they could. Joash’s reign for forty years in Jerusalem was godly. He made every effort to remove all practices that paid homage to idol gods.
I often get inspiration for composing a blog, as I sit in church, listening to sermons, observing the people, and meditating on all that’s occurring around me. Stories from the Bible, delivered in a good sermon, can provide relevant things to consider in our times. People as just people whether they were born seventy-two years ago, as I, or several millennia, as was King Joash.
The point Reverend Edwards made in his sermon was that we can author our own story. Family history, even the reputation of the infamous uncle, who shows up drunk at every family gathering, doesn’t have to provide a model for our individual story. Our stories are different, however, it’s okay if each of our stories contain generous amounts of love, compassion, and the desire to understand those in whom we come in contact. They would be better if they did. Wouldn’t it be better if our stories consistently demonstrated that we are made in the image of God?
If there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that stories are what keeps us alive, they capture our character, our spirit, the essence of our being. They also provide entertainment and inspiration for others who consume them. I’ve given thought to chronicling my full story, up to the current time, whatever that may be. I find myself hesitant to do so. Who would want to read about me? And so, I decided not to write my life’s story for now. Someday I’ll have enough of whatever it takes to sit at this keyboard for the number of hours necessary to chronicle the story of Hosea Long, minus some of the details even I don’t want to read. Is my story better than those of my grandparents, uncles, aunts and other who have come before me? Probably not, but it is different in countless ways. I’m convinced that my standing on the backs of the sacrifices those who came before me has made it possible for me to tell such different story.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.