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2018-07-11 / Columns

The Value of Tradition

Pastor Marv Root

“Tradition!” opens the production, Fiddler on the Roof. As Tevye sings, he proclaims that “tradition” is what keeps the balance for the people in his little village.

Our villages, towns and counties maintain numerous traditions, which help “keep our balance.” Jumping into freezing water in January, riding tractors in our village street parades, exhibiting produce and livestock at the county fairs are some of the cherished traditions in many communities across our land.

Other traditions keep us in touch with relatives and friends. Family reunions, class gatherings, annual picnics, Friday night “Happy Hour,” bring folks together who might otherwise not keep regular contact.

Since many of us have been separated from family and friends through relocation due to education, work or change of climate, our traditional gatherings become more challenging to plan. Distance and time constraints prevent key people from participating. As a result, many of these time cherished events dwindle and die.

Another valued tradition in the history of our Nation and our world finds people coming together on a regular basis to share their faith through worship, study, and fellowship. Traditional faith practices are also falling by the wayside, as we allow other activities to take precedence.

Over the years I have found that I keep a much better balance in my life when I make the time to engage in the tradition of participating in regular worship experiences, and traveling to reconnect with long-time friends and cherished loved ones.

My spiritual life is my anchor. Sharing faith through worship and service helps me “keep my balance.” Staying in touch with family and friends supports and strengthens my sense of identity, reminding me from whence I came and where I have traveled.

What traditions do you value and maintain in your life? Are you passing the meaningful ones along to the next generations? Do you sense that your faith and your relationships with others help keep your life in balance?

As a pastor, I have shared the joy with countless individuals and families, who in returning to regular participation in a faith community, have regained a sense of wholeness and balance which is so easily lost in our busy, impersonal, electronically consumed world!

Others who have continued to be part of the religious community have found much deeper faith through the study of biblical foundations underlying essential practices, while laying aside some of the empty human crafted traditions.

Whether you hold on to tradition or go with the flow, enjoy the journey! God will lead one step at a time! Pastor Marv Root serves the Northfield Community Church and can be reached at 353-2443.

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