Thursday, March 24, 2011
How Much Is Your Birthright Worth?
Tonight as I was admonishing (my 18 year old hard-headed son) I was reminded of the story of Essau in the bible. At first, I really didn't really understand why this particular story came to my spirit (given the particular circumstance) however as I began to recall the story I was blessed with several nuggets of wisdom.
Although this is not my traditional "love post" I decided to write about this subject on my blogpost for two reasons: 1.) I needed an outlet to write something TONIGHT that would help me work off some steam to keep me from choking my"beloved" child! 2.) I wanted to share my new revelation and interpretation of what lessons this story can teach us about love. Perhaps the story will be helpful to you as it has been to me.
If you are familiar with the bible story you may recall that Essau was the son of patriarch Isaac and the older twin brother of Jacob. Essau was actually the first born son of Isaac and because of Jewish custom he was to receive the birthright of double his share of inheritance. However, one day after working in the fields Essau returned hungry and sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of stew!
I never found this story particularly relevant to my life, however tonight after reading it to my son I received three (3) nuggets of wisdom that I would like to share below.
In the context of the Essau/Jacob biblical story the birthright was referred to customary birthrights in Jewish culture bestowed to the first born son. Webster dictionary defines birthright as a "right or privilege that you are entitled to at birth." For me there is a long list of God given inalienable rights that I feel are entitled to all human beings. I think we often take for granted some of our basic God given gifts of love, peace, health, peace and happiness. Sometimes we sell our "right to happiness" and peace for a steady check from a job that we actually HATE. Sometimes we trade our "right to experience true love" for a dysfunctional relationship due to a fear of being alone. Oftentimes we even GIVE away our "right to a healthy and full life" for bad eating habits, quick food fixes, and harsh unhealthy lifestyles.
This is self explanatory. Essau's need for immediate relief is what led to a long-term irreversible mistake. I really believe that anytime we are anxious for something it is perhaps our sub-conscious mind telling us that there is some type of fear or uncertainty lurking around. This can be a warning sign or a simple message to get our emotions in check.
I don't necessarily think that anxiousness automatically means something isn't for us but I do believe it is God's message of telling us to slow down, chill out and take a step back. As my grandmother use to say, "What God has for you it is for you." If that statement is true then whatever things, people, and/or opportunities that are meant for you will manifest and should bring a sense of peace and purpose not a sense of anxiousness. In fact, when you feel anxious that may be the Holy Spirit's way of telling you to release the process and surrender to God.
Wisdom Nugget #4: Lead By Your Spirit Not Your Flesh
Essau's desire to fulfill his fleshy hunger ultimately changed the course of his life and his name in history. Essau made a decision based on his flesh. Because of this very simple mistake we now know Jacob as the third patriarch of the children of Israel, not Essau. Isn't that amazing? One can say that all Essau was trying to do is harmlessly get something to eat to stop his hunger. However, Essau was so over powered by his fleshy need for immediate relief that he was unable to see the true value of his birthright gift. He was indifferent to the consequences of giving the birthright away and unwilling to explore other ways to meet his OWN immediate needs. Essau had access to the same ingredients to make a pot of stew. Was he too lazy, too tired, too greedy to make himself something to eat? We don't know the reason why Essau made this choice but we all know the outcome. How many times in our own lives have we made rash decisions based on our fleshly desires instead of "centering ourselves" to listen to our spirit?
Although Essau was freely given the "birthright gift" it was his lack of value for the gift, his desire for immediate relief and his inability to make a decision beyond his fleshy desire that led to his incredible lost. The take away lesson for me is that we all must know and appreciate all of our God given birthrights on this earth. It is our responsibility to protect, nurture and maintain the gift(s) of health, wellness, peace, freedom, friendship, companionship, creativity, liberty, justice, and love.