Passing on your genius

April 17, 2013

Musing: Passing on your genius

April 17, 2013

Perhaps this is too much information…but here goes.  Yesterday, I was, as Abbie and I have referred to it, “certified sterile.”  In other words, I got a vasectomy a few months back, and all the swimmers have officially exited the pool.  I apparently had a ‘girls only’ sign above my pool!  No more babies.  No more reproduction from me.

I have no second thoughts about the decision, and it means, in many ways, that I am entering a new phase of life – a phase in which passing on genes is no longer an option.  So what’s the task of life from here on out?

I forget where I heard it (that happens often), but right around the time of the procedure I heard someone make a connection that I like a lot.  The connection was between the words genes and genius, and my interpretation of what I remember is this: it is one thing to pass on your genes to the next generation, it is another thing to pass on your genius.  Some people have that window of life in which they pass on their genes, all people have all of life in which they are able to pass on their genius.

Genius here doesn’t mean smartness, cleverness, or any kind of exceptional ability.  It’s meant more along the lines of the ancient Roman sense – the guiding spirit of a person, the unique creative flow each person channels.  Or, in the Hebrew sense, the image-of-Godness we all bear, the manner in which each individual can enrich the world and reveal the divine.  Everybody has a genius.  We all benefit from the genius of others.  To make another biblical connection, we could say that one of the Apostle Paul’s major themes was the revelation that we all have access to the genius of Abraham – faith – even if we don’t have his genes.  Jews and Gentiles are both in on it.

So, I find it kind of exciting to think about a deeper discovery of the genius of this particular life I’ve been given, and the sharing of that genius being what defines life from here on out.  This also feels like a potentially freeing thought for those who have chosen not to or are unable to have children.  I’m grateful to the genius the Spirit has implanted in each of you, which gets shared among the community, young and old.

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