Be Strong. Take Heart.

An Inconvenient Convenant

I have always had a fighting spirit ever since I was a child.  At a young age, I came to my father and said, "Dad, I need an equalizer."  You see, I was a very small kid, not that I am a big adult but I was always the smallest in my class.  I was so small that I had a special sized chair in my younger years.  Being small led to being picked on quite a bit by bullies and those with all the insecurities we begin to understand as an adult but would only lead to even more of a beat down if we call a bully insecure.  But I did realize that most of the time there was no one else to take up for me.  Every once in a while, I would have someone like my good friend Robert Beasley step up and whack a bully for me but I wanted to defend myself.  I wanted to not only stand for myself but for those that couldn't fight for themselves.
So, at a young age I began to take karate.  Karate was going to be my equalizer, I thought.  It taught me more than how to defend myself.  It taught me self-confidence, discipline and oddly enough, how to avoid a fight with wisely placed words or moves.  When I joined my karate class, my sensei or teacher taught me about life and some of the important things in keeping peace and helping others.  My teacher, Don Carter I still remember to this day.  I actually saw him a few months ago when I was in Jesup.  He is still there and suffers from liver cancer.  I hate it for him.  He is such a wise man and such a great teacher of young men and women.  I remember the covenant that I made with him to never use my skills against anyone.  I was to only use the skills that I learned in defense of my life, or the life of others when all other measures had failed.  I still remember and keep that covenant.  It was one of the first covenants that I have ever made.  And now, I realize how some covenants would be passed down to me from generation to generation.
A few months ago, I was in Jesup and while there visited my uncle Wallace.  He is my dad's brother and such a wonderfully, wise and humorous man.  While the girls played, he and I talked about life and what my dad is suffering with and what I am suffering with.  He told me of a covenant to remember and to never let go of.  He said, "When you have children, you make a covenant with God to protect them and to do everything in your power to do so."  This caught me a little off guard.  I know that I have made the decision to fight through my disease.  I knew that I had made that decision on my own.  I didn't realize that I was responsible to fulfill a covenant that had been passed from generation to generation, from father and mother to son and daughter, that we would protect our children and fight to be there for them at all costs and never give up or give in.  We would take less so that they could have more.  We would do without so that they could grow and flourish.  We were also to teach them about what it meant to do what we were doing so that one day they would do the same for their children.
Having a covenant has a sort of empowerment to it.  Like, this is something that was passed from father/mother to son, father/mother to daughter, so that they would carry forward the spirit and light of the gift of life and sacrificing for others.  It is sometimes not the easiest thing to do especially when you are in the state that I am in.  But it does give you this extra push to do what is right and fight for good and for life.  I had decided long ago that I was going to fight through this and teach my daughters to be people of great character.  Now having this covenant behind me gives me a little more push, not a burden.  To me, it is not an inconvenient covenant to prove or carry.  It is the wisdom of hundreds of years passed down to me to do what is right not only by God, but by my children.  It was great that I had already made that decision before I found out about the covenant.  If I had given up, it would have been a burden.
For those of you out there struggling to keep up the fight against your problems and diseases in life, make the decision to fight.  It is the right thing to do no matter how painful.  Begin your covenant no matter how inconvenient that it may be to fight for yourself, fight for those that can't fight for themselves and to fight for your children.  Give your children an example that will grow them of character like no other.  You must fight, and only you can choose to begin, continue and see the fight through.
Andy BarwickComment