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We must regularly pause and reflect on the people and sources which have brought us from a mighty long way. I meet a lot of people who are not interested in who their ancestors are and the great principles which governed their lives.
Is there danger in drifting to far away from the knowledge of those who came before? The first thing we should do is to make sure our desires are in line with the will of the One from whom all good things come. Some desires lead us away from the basis of who we truly are. The acquisiton of these particular things can never satisfy us in the long run.
The next thing we need to do is to make sure we understand our motivation for seeking the things we work to obtain. Having as the motivation the desire to bless the lives of other people or to put ourselves in position to bless the lives of others puts us in a more certain positon of receiving the things we seek.
We will not recognize true freedom as long as we work to acquire things only to consume it upon our own lusts. These items become very slippery and become a hardship to us. I think many are feeling the results of a life spent working for things alone. They are perhaps more miserable than those who have not at all. Poverty is bondage, but so can be prosperity.
With our purpose and a correct idea of the things for which we should seek, we next need to through obedience seek the One True Source. My ancestors knew what that meant. They were able to pull themselves up with the help of that source and service. Out from the "big house," off the plantation, and up from the weigh of oppression.
How were they able to start with so little and accomplish so much? They knew of this promise:
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abideth not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you." St John 15: 5-7.
What a promise! How blessed I am to be able to reflect back this Father's day to my grandfather, Emory Wallace Vance, who endured many forms of pain and suffering, and by his example, left a legacy of what it means to be connected to the One True Source. He only carried the baton of his father, Lafayette Franklin Vance, born in 1861. Lafayette carried it out of slavery and picked it up from his father, Beverly Vance, who was born in 1832.
To be able to have whatever I ask from the One True Souce, that is freedom. This is the legacy I must continue to build upon and share. Who knows how to succor me better than He? Yes, I am proud of my heritage and proud of my race. I am proud to be commissioned to carry the baton forth, and I will be ever careful that it be not stained or tarnished when it becomes my turn to pass it on.