I was born 4,000 years ago in the deserts of the Middle East, where the sun was hot and the winds would blow through you leaving a coarse layer of sand upon your face. I have walked across the harsh and sandy plains to the land of Canaan, the place I made my home, based on a promise that has not yet been broken.I have lived under Egyptian rule, treated with respect, and I have lived under Egyptian rule, treated with contempt. I have been a slave forced to do manual labor so hard that even just standing tall required the same amount of effort as the building of the pyramids themselves.And when my people were freed, I was there, running through the muddy surface of seas that parted, eating food that would fall from the sky, witnessing events in history that people still talk about today. As the world expanded, I expanded with it, being forced from my homeland time and time again… taken into an exile from which I am still returning. And so I found myself in lands far from the home I love, lands in which I would endeavor to create a new home, lands where I would at times be welcomed, even invited, only for all that to be ripped away, and all that I’ve built to disappear like a sand castle reclaimed by the incoming waves of the ocean…And so I have walked the path of history, witnessing the birth of every empire and the slow death of them too. I have seen the monuments to Pharaoh rise from desert sands to tower over the land. I have watched as the first stones were laid upon a hill in Athens to become the Acropolis, overlooking that fair city. And I have seen, with my very own eyes, the city of Rome become the center of the greatest Empire on earth.And as the world aged, I aged with it, my skin becoming weathered from the rain and the sun and the wind and the storm – yet my soul remaining forever young. And as the world grew, I grew with it, finding myself in foreign lands that held mystery and intrigue and danger.In the ghettos of Europe, I was there, isolated in a bubble of existence.In the discovery of the New World, I was there, making my claim to the hope of new beginnings.In the gold mines in South Africa, I was there, seeking fortune and glory.In all the horrors of persecution and of the unbridled hatred of man, I was there too, hanging on to a sliver of existence, being killed so many times, yet never dying.And as my homeland fought for its very life, I was there too, fighting in the trenches to make a dream of two thousand years old become a reality of today.And so I journeyed from place to place, time to time, empire to empire, always on that voyage that has not yet ended, traveling through history, not as a passenger, but as an active participant.As old as I am, I am also young, looking upon this world, not with the bitterness of hatred, but with the enthusiasm of love.Some say I am chosen, but it is not a gift that comes with the promise of treasures and riches and privilege. Instead, it comes with great responsibility, because if I will not heal the world for humanity, then who will?And as the pages of history draw to a close, and the world we know ends - either consumed by fire or embraced by love, I’ll still be standing alongside you, just as I always have been. I was born 4000 years ago in the deserts of the Middle East – and I’m still here.