The Field of Family

13 11 2017

My granddaughter, Madison and I were recently riding in my truck listening to the oldies Rock _nstation when one of all-time favorite tunes started playing. “Country Roads, take me to the place I belong, West Virginia.”  She then asks me, “Grandpa, what do you miss most about being a kid and going to West Virginia?” That’s a tough one I had to mull over for a minute; so many wonderful and precious memories come back to mind that’s it’s hard to pick just one. Finally I answered, “I guess one of my fondest memories was the field of family.”  As you can imagine that brought quite the puzzled looked, so I did my best to explain it to her.

As a child my family unit was Ma, my great-aunt and great-uncle. The absence of a father had its difficulties but not having brothers and/or sisters to play with could make life a little lonely. There were children in the neighborhood but I still spent the majority of time alone. When the moments came to visit West Virginia, it was more exciting than going to the beach, Cedar Point or even someplace like Disneyworld!

About a mile out of Rock, West Virginia sat my Great Uncle Dave and Aunt Virgie’s home, a large white house with a porch. There was a huge yard that ran out from the house and down a hill to the household of Great Uncle Sam and Aunt Dorothy who raised six wonderful kids there. During our visits others who lived in the region would come to see us and often relatives from other states would be in at the same time we were. It would be such a grand reunion that came loaded with happiness, smiles, laughter, and oh yeah, the most delicious food you ever tasted this side of heaven! But I think the best moments came when all the children would gather in the yard to run, play games and catch a few lighting bugs as evening set in. I remember Aunt Virgie once telling me there were children from five states playing in her yard; that truly brought her great joy. And words can’t begin to describe what those moments meant to this man as a child. For I remember one time stopping to just look at all the kids playing there with me, for each and every one was a relative. A lonely boy realized he had a family.

Oh, those are such sweet memories that occasionally I love to replay in memory like someone who has a favorite old movie they just have to watch again and again because it makes them happy. But a lot has changed for me since the making of those memories over half a century ago. The first thing that comes to mind is my Lady who God has given me 44 wonderful years of marriage with. In those 44 years, He has multiplied us from 2 to 14. Family.

Dave Willis explains family with this interpretation: “Family isn’t only defined by last names or by blood; it’s defined by commitment. It means showing up when they need it most. It means having each other’s back. It means choosing to love each other even on the days when you struggle to like each other. It means never giving up on each other.”

Over the years many other children have come through our home and have stayed for periods of time, a number of them still refer to us a mom and dad. Family.

God has made me rich with some incredible friends that are as close as brothers and sisters, ones that I can call at a moment’s notice, and they’re there for me. Family

Without a doubt the most precious family I was adopted into was when I became a Believer in Christ Jesus and became a part of the Family of God. Now the Family of God is a term we’ve all heard before; God is our father, and we are his children.

John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God”

Ephesians 2:19-22 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by h=His Spirit.”

Romans 8:17 “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”

God is saying “I’ve already accepted you, all you have to do now is accept me and join the Family.”

And I’ll be the first to say here we don’t always act like it. We fight, bicker, disagree and even shun each other from time to time. (Hmm, maybe that does sound like family. Never mind!) But that doesn’t deter the love of the Father for each of us. So, we keep striving to show each other that family love and hopefully others will then want to be family, too. Amen?!!

Many years have passed since this “Traveler of Rock Road” has played on the Field of Family there where I felt so much love. I still occasionally visit that region just to drive by and remember. But I also am reminded that my Family Field is now worldwide, most I’ve never met and won’t until we get to Heaven and unite as Brothers and Sisters before our loving and proud Father. Who knows, maybe they’ll even be occasions to run out and see who can catch the most lighting bugs!

See ya next time.

 


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