All of us bear a name. A name that birthed us into this world, the soils of the earth as we call it. We carry with us the heritage of our forefathers, ancestors, bearing the name that speaks of our family heritage. It’s quite a responsibility, to carry something this grand. And it is also something of sheer dread if we tarnish it.
If I reflect on this and look at myself, I guess I’m one that failed to carry this responsibility well. I just celebrated my 31st birthday and what do I show in respect of this name I carry, where cousins and uncles have with them accolades, good jobs and high statuses that their accomplishments made, I have nothing to lay on the trophies that hold these triumphant shelves. Maybe time still has in it room for me to place something but age shows I’m running out of time. On the bright side of things I still look young so that might merit some passage for me to tread the journey of time. There is still room for redemption I hope. I’ll try to cope with my low self esteem at this moment and work out something. But sometimes I hold with me half of the things I believe will be accomplished, but another half keeps barking “you’ll never make it.”
As my reflection goes, while I’m writing this, I just read something from a book depicting the Apostle Peter. This is following tradition really. As the story goes, before he was hung on a cross upside down for his allegiance to Christ under the ruthless Emperor named Nero, he asked if he would be crucified upside down. For he felt an unworthiness to follow in the footsteps of the one he held dear, in dying like him. Maybe in the ordeal of the matter, he was reminded of the time he denied his master out of fear they he would suffered the same fate, being put to death. And in that also he remembered how Jesus reinstated him back when he arose, not with condemning prose but one that spoke forgiveness and acceptance. He also told Peter of his own fate in the later future, one that he was facing at the moment. And in the moment that spurred Peter knowing his fate and the memories playing in his mind, he still chose a lesser role, to be crucified in an upside-down position. In this we might see a humbled person, knowing his past failure, infused in it the open hands of acceptance, and a new passage to redeem his allegiance which he failed to do before even when he said he would follow when everyone deserted Jesus. It was his chance to redeem back the name he once bore with shame. But instead of seeing this as an accomplishment he chose the lesser role. Crucified, yes, but out of the response of humble heart that knew about his past failures and a second chance.
All of us hold this responsibility of bearing a name. We might be carrying the name of our family, the university we went to, the company we work in you just name it. It is all a great responsibility we all hold. We might have our times when failures fill our very soles, but know that there is a thing called second chances. We will not be failures forever. We also have those who give some form of redemption. Friends and families that spur us on. But let us always remember that when it is time for us to reach that platform that shows our hard earned achievement of carrying a name, let us be humble. Humble in a way that shuns our arrogance. For we know that without mercy, love from friends and family, and a platform for a second chance, we might not have made it to where we are now. Let us not turn arrogant but stay humble.
For there will be a time when we are tried, to look at the platform we have scaled on borrowed time to only see the achievement we made on the shoulders of ourselves. We will all have to choose if it will be better still to be thankful, and take the plunge to die not upright but, like Peter, choosing the opposite, being crucified upside-down.
For now, I’m still waiting for my moment to crucified upside-down as well.