day 203: we are joseph

 I was reading in the Old Testament the other morning in Genesis.  I love the story of Joseph in Egypt.  Chapter 45 is where Joseph reveals himself to his brethren, years after they sold him into slavery.  His brothers, understandably, were distraught by the revelation and found themselves unable to respond.

I am always touched by the way Joesph forgives and calls his brothers to him.  But the line that hit me this time was in verse 5.  ... for God did send me before you to preserve life.  This is not only powerful in that Joseph holds no grudge, but also because he sees a purpose for his experience in Egypt.


In a loosely metaphorical way, I thought of my ancestors.  I thought of people who suffered, hundreds, maybe thousands, of years ago to survive.  I thought about how easy it is to get caught up in my own bubble here and to forget that there were those sent before me to give me life. 

How often do I see my real place on the continuum?  How often do I consider sacrifices of my predecessors?  And how often do I think about people I am coming before?  It is much too easy to isolate my experience, but like Joseph, I want to see my purpose and be more reflective about the purposes of others that came before me.  Why have I been sent before those in my own future?

Does our blood get more and more diluted as the years pass?  Can we still feel the influence of our past running through our veins?  And do we recognize the potential of those in the future that will have us running through them?

10 comments

Luann | March 10, 2010 at 6:58 AM

For last night's Young Women activity, we went to the family history library and the girls learned how to find records of their ancestors. I wish I had read this before we went because it's a perfect example of she spirit of Elijah.

Kazzy | March 10, 2010 at 7:42 AM

Sounds like a great activity. Not that I have done much actual work with these names, but I am excited about it.

Barbaloot | March 10, 2010 at 8:26 AM

That's my dad's favorite story as well---because of Joseph's ability to forgive. I've always loved that story as well because I have 11 older brothers and even though they never sold me into slavery they were pretty rotten at times but this story reminds me I can forgive them.

Heidi Ashworth | March 10, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Such interesting ideas. My father, who is in his 80's, firmly believes that things do carry over from generation to generation through their blood. I'm not so sure. I feel like my pioneer ancestors (who were numerous and totally awesome)were much stronger, better people than I could ever hope to be. As I get older, the more grateful I am for their courage and strength and just their plain old endurance so that I could have the blessings of the gospel in my life today.

Kimberly | March 10, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Beautiful thoughts! I'm far too self-centred to ever think in some terms and I rather like the "wideness" of such thoughts.

That Girl | March 10, 2010 at 9:43 PM

By in large ... no. Which is why we need people like you to remind us. ;o)

Heather | March 11, 2010 at 5:17 AM

I agree with Heidi, that my ancestors were a lot stronger than I am. I am so grateful that i don't have to live in a lean-to while mt house is being built. Or in a cave for that matter.

Lola Sharp | March 11, 2010 at 10:40 AM

What a delightful post, Kazzy.

The most powerful part (IMHO) being forgiveness.

Love,
lola

Dona | March 11, 2010 at 11:28 AM

This is totally what I had been thinking about, on a less sophisticated level, on my Grandma's birthday. Weird. Cool.

Dedee | March 12, 2010 at 8:30 AM

I'm going to have to ponder this one!