My family helped settle the state. On my mother’s side they came with the first wave of settlers led by the father of Stephen F Austin. A grandfather of several great degrees fought in the battle of San Jacinto for Texas independence and helped chase down Gen. Santa Anna. On my father’s side they came early to Dallas and contributed to the growth of that great city.
On our mother’s side we are Texan.
I haven’t lived in Texas in several decades, but if you ask my children about their heritage, they would say, “On our father’s side we are Swedish and on our mother’s side we are Texan.” After all, we have a Texas room in our home.
I have always loved the statue of a John Wayne-look Texas Ranger at Love Field in Dallas. It carries this identifying slogan: One Riot, One Ranger.
I am in Texas right now, on one of my too seldom visits. Had a Texas-shaped waffle for breakfast. Stars are ubiquitous. If I wanted to swim, I know I could find a Texas-shaped pool. Many still think of it as the Republic it once was.
Our bragadocious reputation is well deserved. It’s a rich heritage, if a bit too much for many.
I love my Texas legacy.
But I also have another heritage.
I’m a Christ follower.
His Kingdom is bigger than Texas.
Jesus paid an incredible price so I could join His family. Even though I was a foreigner and alien—truly—my heavenly Father adopted me as His own daughter. And conveyed to me all the privileges of God family membership.
With that invitation—I just had to accept it—I found brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers. And I was given an amazing opportunity: to join God’s Kingdom-building team. To use my words gift to write and talk about this wonderful family.
Unfortunately, sometimes, some of the followers of Jesus sound a little too Texan. Pride taken to an extreme. Holier/better than others. Even judgment of those not so privileged.
In reality, though, Jesus calls His followers to a different attitude. Truth and holiness, yes. But He says we should also be marked by these qualities: love, humility, kindness, gentleness, peace, grace, mercy….
And that is a heritage I am grateful for.
c 2011 Judy Douglass