The word “tradition” evokes fond memories of the movie, Fiddler on the Roof. The main character Tevye (actor Nick Paone), harkened to his family and those around him in the surrounding culture by belting out a loud “Tradition!”. This word underscored the dominant theme of the movie—being reliant on tradition and faith in times of change and turbulence. And for such a time as we find ourselves now, traditions are needed to bring us back to our foundation. The importance of traditions is perhaps something that could help us navigate uncharted territory.

The Importance of Traditions—Foundation

Parents can hear the groans when they bring up a tradition to their children that has become a chore. A sense of slavitude to tradition steals the original wonder and joy of traditions once held dear. But then there are those traditions that are fundamental in our family and personal lives, that center us. They bring us back to who we are and bring a sense of comfort that no matter how things have changed, much remains the same.

In the end, we maintain those traditions that we feel we need, that help us to know our identity as we approach life. Foundational traditions are often a part of the faith we uphold. And they can be an important part of our family legacy. We choose them rather than just do them because we have to. Being aware of the traditions that we have outgrown and need to remove helps us to not be held hostage to traditions and to embrace traditions that bring us together.

The Importance of Traditions—Stability

Traditions serve an important role in maintaining stability in an ever-changing world. We belong, somehow, to traditions that we carry. And when the world changes, we fall back to what we know and don’t let the changing times sway what we believe and know. When traditions are based on truth, they serve as a filter to guide us through challenging seasons when it seems what is right is turned upside down.

The Importance of Traditions—Unity

Traditions can be exclusive but they can also be inclusive, inviting others to join us and uniting people in a similar heritage. Traditions are a key part of our legacy and an important part of who we are. The importance of traditions in our faith is critical to us keeping and living out our faith. This holiday season, think about what traditions you hold onto and perhaps which ones you need to let go of. And maybe there might be some new ones you need to embrace.

In perhaps one of the greatest traditions at Thanksgiving, may we all give thanks to God and to one another. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Yours for Leaving a Thriving Legacy,

Jeff Rogers