I didn’t get any say in the matter, about as much say as I had in what my name would be. There are things that happen to us in our lives we just don’t get a say in, and where we’re born is one of them. My mom didn’t want my sister and I to be born in Arkansas, but somethings we don’t have control over, even as adults.
I’ve always been a little proud of the fact that I was born in the same state as my dad and his daddy before him. Yeah, “daddy” is what hillbillies call their dad, my oldest brother still refers to our dad with that term of endearment.
It’s my belief that God is sovereign. Even to the point of knowing where we’ll be born and sometimes His purpose behind it. My mom, while from humble origins, not near as humble as my dad, but humble by societies standards at the time, was a bit more sophisticated. She’d been taught manners, etiquette, poise, and hospitality, practiced it daily. Even made us learn it and practice it. Lazy kids don’t appreciate it, especially when it came to helping clean up, just didn’t make sense to dirty two forks…
My mom tried hard to distance her family from our hillbilly roots, ties, and inclinations, but, as they say, “You can take the boy out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the boy.” We don’t choose our heritage and it plays into our lives and how we perceive things. We all get some good traits and some not so good ones to boot.
One of the traits passed down through my southern roots is fierce independence, got that natural from both sides. We were born with the need for independence from manmade rules, and none of us are still willing to trade security for freedom.
Our security comes from our belief and living a life where we have “Fear of the Lord”, although it doesn’t seem like many in my family fear much of anything, especially other folks, and the thick-headed side of us and me, forget to fear God more often than is reasonable and prudent.
As old as I am, that crazy gene of recklessness that I think is gone, tamed, or just plum tuckered, raises like Godzilla inside me from out of nowhere and drives every other lick-uh-sense and wisdom right outta my head through my ears. That’s the ugly side of the otherwise more often than not a decent character.
Like all of us, I ask “why” about such matters as where we were born and our strengths and weaknesses. It’s taken me a long time to come up with what I believe is the answer.
For all that I’ve done to distance myself from my heritage, including looking and acting like the opposite of the stereotypical hillbilly, I’ve learned that one of the traits of my heritage is humility. It just took a while to find the wisdom from God while I was scaling the mountain of pride.
After a good dust off from the fall, I find that nothing fits a child of God better than a suit of humility… I’m reminded of that by where my Father chose to bear me physically and spiritually.