“Aw, geez. Why did I have to get that trait from my grandpap?!”
I looked in the mirror and saw the constellation of moles on my back. Of all the traits to inherit from him, why couldn’t I have silky smooth skin instead?
As I ponder the question, I realize I do share some of my grandfather’s positive traits.
- I have his calmness
- His desire to look for the best in others
- His friendliness
- His love of reading, learning, and history
- His ability to share his knowledge with others — he was a teacher, too!
- (I also fall asleep in public, sometimes in mid-conversation, just like he would.)
But why did I have to get his moles?! Ick. (Also, please don’t let me get his ear hair!)
And then God put this thought in my heart:
What if all those traits—the ones I like and the ones I could live without—are all coded on the same strand of DNA?
What if it’s not an accident that I have his positive qualities and a characteristic I’m not fond of.
More to the point, what if, when I got the DNA for the personality traits that made grandpap the man I loved so much, the “mole DNA” came along for the ride? What if I couldn’t have acquired his positive traits without also getting this quirk?
It’s a fun theory—even if it may not be scientifically accurate.
What about you?
The next time you notice a physical trait you don’t care for, ask yourself:
- Who might I have gotten this bit of DNA from?
- What positive traits did I inherit from them that I might not have if I wished away this unloved characteristic?
- Does this trait make you love your ancestor any less— or is it just a quirky part of who they are?
The Psalms tell us that, “in a fear-inspiring way, [you are] wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). But it’s good to be reminded of that.
What you perceive as a defect may be part of God’s purposeful design!