Word for Wednesday… Legacy
One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.Psalm 145:4
My maternal grandfather died just over fourteen years ago, in April of 2007. Since his death I have had a constant reminder of him, a 2005 Honda Odyssey that he left to me and my family. It has served us well over the years, but sadly, it has come to the end of its road (pun intended). On a recent vacation we were rear-ended and the repair estimate well exceeds its value. By the end of the week it should be in a salvage yard somewhere, where it will eventually be parted out, crushed, recycled, etc.
As strange as it may sound, especially after casually beginning to shop for a replacement, the van was not the most valuable thing I inherited from my grandfather. The most valuable thing my grandfather left me, along with my other three grandparents, was a legacy of faith. All four were followers of Jesus, and while they hoped I would achieve success in every area of my life, their biggest concern was that I would follow Jesus also. Everybody dreams of leaving a legacy; for them, the greatest legacy they could leave to their children and grandchildren was a legacy of faith. And they worked tirelessly toward this end…praying, teaching, encouraging, and most of all, leading by example.
What kind of legacy are you leaving to your children and grandchildren? Is it a legacy of faith? Or something else entirely? I know one set of grandparents who do whatever it takes to watch their grandchildren participate in sports, including missing Sunday morning worship often. I think it’s great that they are so supportive, but what if they were to decide to miss the majority of the Sunday morning games, and in so doing, send a message to their grandchildren that worshipping God should be a priority. Every grandparent loves to buy their grandchildren gifts for their birthday and Christmas. What if they occasionally gave a gift that encouraged their spiritual life, like a Bible or devotional book? I know another set of grandparents that have decided to help each of their grandchildren purchase their first car. What if they also offered to pay their way to go on a youth activity with their church, or a mission trip? Those of you who don’t have children or grandchildren could do all of these same things for the children you know, children in your church community. After all, you too will be leaving a legacy. All of us have a responsibility to raise up future generations of believers.
Our family will miss our 2005 Honda Odyssey. My wife and I will certainly not enjoy paying for its replacement. But the most important thing my grandfather left me can never be deemed a “total loss.” It will last for all eternity.