As I read through the questions in the journal, which are designed to help you recall your childhood and important events in your life, I was reminded that leaving a legacy is something each one of us has opportunity to do. Whether or not you are a father, a legacy is something that each of us has the great privilege of leaving behind. Unfortunately, many people may first think of a legacy as what money or asset was left to them via a will, or through some other means. To be sure, this indeed is considered a legacy. But better yet, don't you think, is the legacy of life we can leave behind to those we know and love? If all I have to show for my life, in terms of relationship, is an addition to my beneficiaries savings accounts, I call that lunacy, not legacy. No, what I have the privilege of leaving behind is much, much greater. Charles Spurgeon is recorded as quoting this; Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you. So carve your name on hearts, and not on marble.
Consider these examples of leaving a legacy, which even scripture shows us is tremendously important:
I Corinthians 11:23a For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: (Paul; writing to the church at Corinth.)
II Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (Paul; writing to his son in the faith, Timothy.)
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Paul repeats this to the church in Rome; Romans 10:15)
I see a connection, a relationship, between these verses, and leaving a legacy. You see, the greatest legacy that any one of us can leave, is the legacy that is Jesus, the legacy that began with Him! The legacy of life, life in Christ, that life lived in front of others and for others and for His glory, is a legacy unmatched - a legacy indeed.
A father may teach his son how to fish, but a father who teaches his son how to fish for men leaves a greater legacy. A father who teaches his son how to properly love, including setting an example of how to love a wife, is a wonderful thing. But a father who teaches his son how to love Jesus with all of his being leaves the surpassing legacy. A mother may teach her daughter how to cook or sew, and leave a legacy lasting for many generations. But a mother who teaches her daughter to pray will extend that legacy into eternity.
There are so many varieties of possible types of relationships in which to leave a legacy. Let's face it, where there is no relationship, there is no legacy. But where relationships are involved, the opportunity for leaving a legacy abounds:
- Parents to children
- Grandparents to grandchildren
- Spiritual leaders to others
- Teachers to students
- Coaches to players/pupils
- Mentors to “mentorees"
- Friends to friends