One of my favourite songs at the moment is the song by New Zealand group Six60 called ‘Don’t forget your roots’ and I love it… not only do I love the song but I love the image of not forgetting our past.
It reminds me of the image Isaac Newton used when he quoted John of Salisbury when he talked about ‘Standing on the shoulder of Giants’ which was alluding to the fact he was able to see where the future was going by standing on the beliefs and efforts of those who had gone before.
In New Zealand I think back at people like David Lange and the government at the time standing up against a super power to make a stand against Nuclear ships coming into New Zealand.
The All Blacks this year brought back the ‘white collar’ to their playing strip as a sign of respect for the All Black side that won the first Rugby world cup in 1987… they were inspired by their past.
I am very very honoured to be an honourary member of the 26 Australian Infantry Battalion a group of men who fought for our freedom in World War II (My Grandpa was part of this group) – I remember marching with the Battalion in the ANZAC day parade that marched through some of the main streets of Melbourne. I was a lasting memory for me and I remember people waiving Australian flags and yelling out “thanks guys for fighting for our freedom here in Australia” – I remember holding back tears at one stage of the march as I realised that I have my freedom as I’m standing on the shoulders of the people who have gone before.
As a Christian our ‘roots’ go back even further and even deeper… not only are we standing on the shoulders of giants, who were martyred, thrown in prison, fought for equality, for freedom… but we’re standing on the shoulders of Gods word.
I get frustrated with people who try and justify the Bible to fit in with their own theology… the Bible has remained constant over thousands of years… the Bible itself is a library of books written over thousands of years in itself and has this amazing thread of continuity… it was inspired by God.
It’s good to question your past… and learn from your past… in fact it’s wise to do so… however when you start to question things, just for the sake of questioning them… not only is it unwise, but it is being disrespectful of those who fought hard to bring you to this place to start off with.
Are you standing on the shoulders of giants so you have a better view of the future?
Or is your ego so inflated that you think you can make your own future without the need to look forward from the vantage point of those who have gone before?