Nothing to brag about...
Scottish tartans come in a vast variety of colors and patterns, each unique to an individual family. The best known are bright red with stripes of gold and white, such as the Royal Stewart or the Dress MacDonald. The colors have meaning: the more red, the more royalty. Yellow and white are indications of other aspects of power such as clercial standing, land or castle holdings, etc. Those families who were sea powers have light blue woven into the sett, or pattern, of their tartan.
My family was too small to have its own badge, motto and tartan. Don't try to look up "Mead" in Scottish clan directories. We aren't there. Our name wasn't Mead until the first decade of the 1600's when we changed it from the original, hurriedly, due to... uh... pressing legal reasons. Our family was taken in by the Gunn clan and we wear their tartan: green, darker green, one tiny stripe of red. No lands, no castles, no sea power, no royalty. Nothing to see here. Nothing to brag about.
So I can't brag on my standing among the Scots. How about my more immediate family? No... not really. My parents are solid Christians, but that is about it. Most of my family are so non-Christian that they are more likely to show up on "Cops" or "Jerry Springer" than they are to show up in church. Nothing to see here. Nothing to brag about.
I could try and brag about my righteousness, but that would be about as silly a thing as I could imagine. I am the man in Romans 7. Regardless of my best efforts and intentions I am absolutely unable to come up to an acceptable standard if measured by law. I have lived as a legalist and failed. I have tried to find some comfort in the fact that, at least, I knew the Bible well and went all over the world to teach it. But the more I learned the more I realized that my knowledge was imperfect and so was my teaching. Nothing to see here. Nothing to brag about.
I can't brag on my heritage, my family, my righteousness, my knowledge... or anything else. I have no sports skills, no rippling muscles, and my fireplace mantel is disturbingly free of trophies or plaques. I am three months away from becoming 49 and this isn't exactly what I planned to be when I was a kid. I wanted to be a ninja-cowboy-police-superspy-rockstar-football player. Didn't make it. Nothing to see here. Nothing to brag about.
But there is one thing: I believe in Jesus. Because of my faith, He calls me righteous. Because of His grace, I am an heir of heaven. I have a new family, a new name, and a new heritage. And the coolest thing of all? I CAN brag about this! It has nothing to do with me, but now I am surrounded by wonderful things because of the righteousness of Christ. Come see Him, for He is something to see. He is someone to brag about.
(NOTE: last call for going to sea with Patrick and Kami and Duncan Mead. There is one balcony room, one oceanview room, and a couple of inside staterooms left. Get in touch with Susan Yanaros at www.escape2sea.com and book quickly. Plus, we have a single gentleman who needs a roomie and a single woman who needs a roomie. Know anyone who needs a break from winter on January 7th of next year? Remember -- we are raising a lot of money for missions by buying these cabins so you get to be warm, fellowship with about 100 Christians, worship at sea, and support two great mission works at the same time. What a deal!)