Every family, every group of friends – every collection of people who’re joined by shared experience have traditions. It could be something as simple as having coff and snacks after church. Or as complicated as having numerous relatives fly in from across the world for an annual event. So we all have traditions – but do we all respect them as much as we should?
We have moments in our lives where we’ll be challenged to make difficult decisions. Our priorities will come into question as we may choose what proves to be an unpopular decisions amongst people who’re important to us – seeing a movie instead of spending time away with relatives. Or getting extra work done instead of attending the annual cookout with your friends. It’s at these times where we must choose: instant gratification vs. the tradition. Traditions are much like trust – they take ages to nourish and develop, but as soon as we take them for granted, they’ll fall apart with nary but the slightest nudge.
Last year, for example, I missed my family’s annual barbecue because Sarah and I had made previous plans to go camping. Even now, I feel like I missed out on a lot since those are the opportunities to catch up on what’s happening, what to expect in the future – for better or for worse, these are the times where we reconnect. So don’t take your traditions lightly – they’re there for a reason. If you choose to forgo a tradition because you don’t think you’ll be missed, or because you think someone else needs you more, or maybe because they’re always SO BORING – I warn you to watch your step, since soon enough, there may no longer BE a tradition to go back to.
–Casey E. Palmer