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  • Writer's pictureLara

Time for Boots?

Those who have read my blogs for a while now will know that I get a lot of my blog ideas from things I hear on the Christian radio station UCB1. I spend hours a week driving around Bristol and the surrounding area listening to UCB1, which plays great Christian music but also has interviews, chat, bible readings and ‘thought for the day’ type segments. I was listening to one of those last week and the speaker was talking about that fact that some of us can go through life following a script that has nothing to do with God’s plan for us. Either others have written it for us, we have written it for ourselves based on false information, or it has been passed down to us from our family background. Maybe we were labelled as troublesome at school, or as useless at home, and we haven’t shaken that label off. Maybe we have thought of ourselves as stupid,or unlovable and have then created a world to live in based on that script. Maybe there is a family history of something like substance abuse, depression, poverty or divorce that we feel we cannot break free from.

The guy speaking said there’s an acronym that can prompt us to look beyond those false narratives: B.O.O.T.S. It stands for Break Out Of The Script. I didn’t hear much more of the segment as I had visits to do, but ever since, God has shown me patterns of thought that I need to break free from, that were scripted by myself, others or my family history.

I had already been mulling over something similar about Jacob’s life ever since my Pastor spoke about how integral his story had been in setting up Jesus’s genealogy a few week’s ago: Jacob’s son, Judah had had a son, Perez, with Tamar (Genesis 38) and Perez’s blood line can be traced all the way to Joseph (husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus) some 1900 years later! (Luke 3: 33).

Jacob was the second born son of Isaac (and twin to Esau), who’s name means deception (Genesis 25: 26 footnote) and this label seemed to follow him around as he grew up. He took advantage of Esau’s hunger encouraging him to exchange his birthright for a bowl of stew (sneaky!)(Gen 25: 27-34) and tricked his father into giving him the blessing that was due to Esau (Genesis 27). Esau was not a happy chappy when he found out so Jacob ran away to a distant family member, fearing for his life.

On the way he stopped for the night, using a large stone for a pillow and dreamed of a stairway leading to heaven. God spoke to him promising him the land he was in and descendants that would spread out in all directions (The same promise God gave to Jacob’s Grandfather, Abraham, in Genesis 15). When Jacob woke from the dream, he acknowledged God’s presence there and promised to follow the ways of the Lord if He watched over him and returned him safely home.

Jumping on a few chapters (2 wives, 2 maidservants and 12 sons later), Jacob wrestles with God and is given a new name: Israel (Genesis 32: 22- 32). He reconciles with his brother and returns to his father’s home, setting up an alter in recognition of the mighty God of Israel (Gen 33: 20). God, as we know fulfilled his promise too, making Jacob’s descendants a mighty nation.

Jacob broke out of the script he had been given in the form of his name when he met with God, acknowledged His presence and followed His ways, and God then used him and his family greatly. The twelve tribes of Israel were formed from the descendants of Jacob’s sons and his youngest son, Joseph, saved the world from starvation.

Jacob’s story shows us that we are not defined by our past; by the names people give us or who we used to be. Breaking out of the script might not always be comfortable (think about Jacob’s stone pillow) and we may have to wrestle with God to gain a greater understanding of who we are in Him, but when God calls us, we become His children and step into His story not a script of someone else’s making.

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