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Leaving a Legacy


One of the buzz words of these past several years is “legacy.” Like there’s some critical priority or drive to building and leaving the greatest legacy one could ever accomplish. While I understand the drive to do ones very best at each and every thing we do, I don’t feel ones’ life is truly measured by the number of good deeds or accomplishments. Legacy is in fact only a cultural buzz word created by the world and is not at all what we were created for nor what God wants from us.


Let me explain why this is so very true, based on my own life. If you know anything about me, my sole focus has always been on the collective group or team and never upon myself. Thus, there are some singular accomplishment statements that may seem like I am boasting, I can assure you it is only to prove the point that legacy or sole accomplishments are not what God wants from us.


First off, I made the typical young persons mistakes of believing my identity was only in Sports, or career, when in fact it was truly in the broader societal things I did. In high school (HS), I received varsity letters for 16 different sports/activities; a school record I still share today with one of my HS best friends. I still hold 3 records in football and I believe (unable to verify) that I still hold 3 records in baseball. In fact, I was named a HS All-American in football due to those records. (Even though they were wrongly reported by the media – a longer story for another time😊) These things were all accomplished because of great teammates and in an effort to make the overall team successful. While these are the things that many in our culture celebrate, these things all fail when it comes to the real meaningful accomplishments of my HS days.


Sure, sports records mean something to some people thus why else would they keep records. But the TRUE accomplishments were in the student council activities, and efforts to improve the lives of not just our students but also our community. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes work our group did with our student athletes and our churches and communities, to bring Jesus into their lives. Our the dance/jazz band performances brought smiles and enjoyment to so many organizations. These are the things that truly matter.


Career achievements were very much like those of high school. I quit college early to pursue a career (FYI – I returned to college later in life and received my BA in Business Management). The first business I operated for the longest time still holds three records my teams set, some 40+ years ago. At United Airlines, my team was the first in the entire airlines Industry to design and implement secure cockpit doors to keep the pilots secure against possible future takeovers and intrusions.


At Rolls-Royce, my teams built the first world-class procurement compliance organization. The team was so proficient, the US Government did something they never do and endorsed our processes as world-class and recommended our team to help other struggling Aerospace companies.


But again, these career achievements where just symbols as the true accomplishments were the people we helped, the companies that sought out our help and support, and most importantly the money we saved the taxpayers and the quality products we delivered to the Warfighter.


What is truly meaningful has been our charity work, our work with our churches and outreaches, our support of resources for the poor, the food we have provided so many in need, the endangered animals we have sponsored, and the children we have supported in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


Yes, there were times when my identity was all about my athletic sports pursuits, and my career activities, but these truly fail in comparison to my work for God.


I ask you all – What Lasts? What accomplishments truly have an impact? Do you really think 40+ years after high school that people care about what we accomplished? When you retire, do you think your work achievements will help with your Medicare, retirement pension, or relationships, with others, especially with God?


If you live your life dedicated to God, doing your very best to honor and support His people, as He taught us, then the lives you have touched will matter. The girl we supported in Haiti will for more remember the support my wife and I provided than any school or business record. I beg you all to always keep this in mind!!! Such accomplishments are good, and important to some, but the lasting impact we have is with the people we know, help, and support. Bringing glory to God in all we do is THE legacy He wants from us.


God has always been first in my life, even though I have not always lived that way. Because of my faith, trust, and love for God, He has helped me make better decisions, associate with people who love and trust me, led me to the best wife any man could ever have, and to do all I can to demonstrate His love to all those who I encounter.


Legacy??? Leaving a defined legacy is not important but sharing God’s love with all is. I have raised three great children, and am now hoping I help positively influence their 8 children, our grandchildren, plus also their children, now our 5 great grandchildren. I haven’t always done this the best that I can, but I have done it with God’s Word at the forefront of my efforts. As the group Casting Crowns say, in the song “ONLY JESUS,” “I don’t want to leave a legacy, I don’t care if they remember me … only Jesus!”


I leave you with a bonus which says this better that I – The lyrics from “ONLY JESUS”:


Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else Make a name the world remembers But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams I got lost in the light when it was up to me To make a name the world remembers But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy I don't care if they remember me Only Jesus And I, I've only got one life to live I'll let every second point to Him Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won Will crumble into dust when it's said and done 'Cause all that really mattered Did I live the truth to the ones I love? Was my life the proof that there is only One Whose name will last forever?

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy I don't care if they remember me Only Jesus And I, I've only got one life to live I'll let every second point to Him Only Jesus

Jesus is the only name Jesus is the only name Jesus is the only name to remember, oh Jesus is the only name Jesus is the only name Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy I don't care if they remember me Only Jesus And I, I've only got one life to live I'll let every second point to Him Only Jesus

I don't want to leave a legacy I don't care if they remember me Only Jesus


Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Bernhard Herms / Bernie Herms / John Hall / John Mark Hall / Mark West / Matthew Joseph West

Only Jesus lyrics © Capitol CMG Publishing, Downtown Music Publishing, Essential Music Publishing, The Royalty Network Inc.


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