I have really enjoyed watching two genealogy shows on TV this year. The stories of famous people come to life as they search out their ancestry–many times finding surprises, disappointment and sometimes outright cool information.
Comedienne Margaret Cho was a recent subject on the PBS genealogy production “Finding Your Roots,” hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.. She was surprised to learn of her family’s political involvement with the Japanese who occupied their native Korea. Because of this traitorous action, the family were forced to migrate away from their village to avoid persecution. One of the family members–as they locked up the house before fleeing–grasped the keys and tucked them away as if they would soon return to find the place untouched and ready to move back in.
I thought about this for a split-second and realized that I myself have a whole ring of keys on a proverbial key chain, stored deep in my conscience, hoping someday I might return to a place in the past that I’ve never been able to completely relinquish. Unfortunately–and possibly for my journey as well–Margaret Cho’s family would never return to that village again. A member of Cho’s family still has that very house key today.
Our lives sometimes resemble the attic in our homes: filled with hopes, dreams and intentions from the past, waiting there silently collecting dust. Maybe it’s time to crawl up the stairs, scan our hearts and make a plan to discard those things to which we may never return.
Maybe it’s an old relationship, a grudge or an unrealized goal. Whatever it may be, most of us have a set of keys that connect us to the past. Some are to doorways of unfinished business that we are wise to complete. But some keys are to doors that we will never see again.
Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to some parts of our past. Thank God for new doors and opportunities yet to be discovered.