It is your legacy! What would you like it to be? How will your family — and the world — remember you? It is one of life’s most important decisions. Society will forget what you have accomplished, but they will long remember how you lived your life.
Speaking to a group of sport’s professionals, the speaker challenged the players to leave a legacy of which they could be genuinely proud. He began by asking how many of them knew the name of their great-grandfather. Then he asked how many of them knew where he was buried. Most hands stayed down on that one, and then, “he made his point: ‘Each of us is just three to four generations away from extinction.’ Silence gripped the room. How sobering to think that, just a few generations down the family tree, no one would even know that I had ever existed!” (from Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver, p. 65).
It is an issue every thinking man must consider. After a life-time of living, rearing a family, fighting for success, and, perhaps, gaining the admiration of our peers, we will each fade from the scene and leave behind a short history of our having come and gone. That is your legacy; the question is, “What kind of legacy will it be?”
Life is such that we each cast a long shadow. Every one of us leaves an impact on the people that we have influenced – for good or for bad. We will influence our friends and our family by the principles by which we lived. Our family will reflect our religious beliefs, our world view, and our concept of right and wrong. Character lives on! What we have told them will be overshadowed by who we were. For good or bad, they will model the life we lived.
It is in the home that we learn all the fundamental qualities of character and life. Our view of honesty, patience, courage, loyalty, self-discipline, responsibility and even our faith, have been conditioned by the convictions and life-style we inherited from our parents. We, in turn, pass our training on to the next generation. Those who follow after us will benefit or be cursed by the principles we lived by.
We have been highlighting in this column that God is committed to helping us model, here and now, the persons we are going to be “then and there,” that is, in life after death. That is as true in the social as it is in the religious realm. None of us lives to ourselves. We will inevitably influence those who have admired us and the convictions by which we have lived. While there is yet time and opportunity, can we re-chart the life we are living? Absolutely –and you know what I am going to say — it begins with God.