Having A Heritage Gives You A Sense of Direction 

But What If You Don’t Have One? 

Triumph30 Devotional has a Bible Reading Plan for 2023 where we study the Bible in depth. I was using the plan to study my Bible one Saturday morning when the word heritage popped into my head. This is not surprising given that I was studying Abraham, the Biblical father of faith. I’d just learned about Rebekah, Abraham’s future daughter-in-law, when I became curious about their family dynamics.

I found my way back to Genesis 11, where Terah, Abraham’s father, and his family migrated from Ur of the Chaldeans (or Chaldee) to another land. Despite the fact that it was mentioned subtly, it became clear to me that Terah, Abraham’s father, intended to travel to Caanan but ended up staying with the family in Haran. Even after years of reading the Bible, this fact had never really sunk in.

God Provides A Heritage For Abraham And His Descendants

After some time, God called Abraham (Genesis 12) to leave his country, his family, and his father’s house and go to a land He would show him. Surprisingly, that land was the same Canaan his father, Terah, had planned to visit when they left their native land. According to some sources, this land is 400 miles away from Haran. And Abram obeyed the Lord’s command and left Haran for Canaan. Why Canaan? The Bible does not say that God instructed him to go to Canaan. 

I’m not sure if he went to Caanan because it was closer to Haran or because that was where his father was going to settle anyway, but he went to Canaan. And God told him that this is the land He will give to his descendants. That was the Promised Land, and it became a heritage (Exodus 6:8) that was passed down from generation to generation. It directed their actions, gave them directions, ingrained a sense of belonging, purpose, identity, and so many other things that cemented their place in a world that is complex and confusing when a sense of direction is missing.

My Thoughts On Having A Heritage

The whole thing got me thinking about what was passed down to me and whether it was enough to give me a sense of belonging in this world where the meaning of life has been eroded by various distractions. Yes, we have access to the best that technology has to offer in terms of making our lives easier, and we can communicate with family, friends, and even strangers who live thousands of miles away. Nowadays, entertainment abounds, life is less nasty, short, and brutish than it once was. Also, medical intervention is more readily available than in the past. And if you want, you can lose weight just like that by injecting some fluid into your bloodstream; life is simple.

Yet, we have never lived in a more mentally unstable world than we do now. Every now and then, you hear of people who allegedly have it all end their lives and leave a note stating that life no longer makes sense. Every day, young people who have had it easier than their elders are overwhelmed. They withdraw from viable relationships and sink into their thoughts, blocking out the help they desperately require.

I’ve been there before, depressed, tired, and ready to give up.

That was in 2020, when we were on lockdown and had no choice but to contemplate the meaning of life while hoping for things to return to normal. It was at that point that I realized having a place to belong, someone to belong to, and a heritage to spur me on was the answer I needed to never give up in life. I had that already through my faith in God through the gospel, but I wished I had that sense of belonging, an earthly translation of a heritage. My parents did their best to pass down certain traditions to us children, but I needed something more substantial, something more compelling.

So I went on a ride. I tried everything that appealed to me, thank God, but it took a while for me to settle on my life’s mission. My life purpose was clear to me, but translating it into an earthly assignment took some time. My point is that knowing who you are, what you stand for, where you came from, and where you belong is easier when someone else has already done the work for you by passing down a heritage, hopefully a godly one, to you.

Truth is, it’s easier to figure things out when you don’t have to figure it out on your own. It gives you a firm foundation to stand on, as well as a goal to strive for in life. It saves you precious time. 

Final Thoughts

What if you don’t have any of those? What if you had to fend for yourself in life? No wise father to show you the way or to pass down a dream to you? Sure, I could be preaching to the choir in this age of searching for meaning within oneself. That’s fine, but in my opinion, having a heritage is important. However, all is not lost. It is not too late to plan the legacy you want to leave your children. If you don’t have a family history, you can make one for yourself and future generations. It may take some time, but if you walk with God as Abraham did, you are already on the right track.

What are your thoughts on having a heritage? Please share in the comments section. Also have you read “Our Creative Abilities Matter to God“?

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