February 2017 – Legacy
The other night my daughter was excited by the news of the 7 exoplanets that were found (and incredulous that I hadn’t heard the news…) Maybe we will discover life on one of the three that could have liquid water! The star is only 40 light years away. At first she told me 40,000 light years and I when I asked about that distance, she looked it up and corrected herself. “Wow, only 40. That’s a reasonable number,” I said, “It is the unit that is a problem – at least for now.” Even 0.0000001 light years is farther than man’s longest trip in history. (round trip to the moon is ~500,000 miles , 10E-7 light years is 587,862 miles)
All we have to do is figure out how to travel at light speed… Her quick math told her that, in 40+ years, I would be a very old man and even she would be approaching “old.” It was the resulting age that gave her discouragement – not the daunting task of figuring out how to bend the time/space continuum, or whatever else would need to be done to make interstellar travel possible. “ah, never mind.”she said. “Not worth it.” What?!!? You’re just gonna give up like that? “what’s the point?” she asked. And then we started talking about Legacy.
And then I started thinking about Legacy. Who cares, really? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…Everything under the sun is vanity,chasing after the wind… And that is true if you are considering the things we do here with respect to God’s eternal plan. I have a friend who, years before I met him, lost his arm in a drunken motorcycle accident. When I met him, he was a drunken, sour man who hated most of the world. Somehow, I found friendship in him… But that’s a different story. He would say – very frequently, almost as a mantra of his life – “In a hundred years, none of this will matter.” After 25 years or so, I am still friends with him and he is still pretty sour, but thankfully, he does not drink anymore.
If my daughter discovered time warp manipulation or light speed travel, her name would be recorded in history and science books for maybe MORE than a hundred years and her legacy would far outlive her physical body. I could donate tons of money to a local hospital and they might name a wing after me and my name would outlast me. There are lots of ways to create a legacy so that your name carries on, but “so what?” as my daughter said. Who cares? Once I’m dead, I don’t care anymore.
I feel smarter than that. I have been convinced that the legacy that I need to be working on is my children. That is how my contribution will live on beyond me. As most of you know, I have taken my job as a dad very seriously and made it a priority in my life. I am -sometimes to a fault – always considering my actions as a father and how they will affect the long term condition of my kids. I suffer over decisions I have made that were not the best decisions. I deliberate over decisions before making them to ensure that they are sound. I sacrifice a lot of my will for my kids. Pretty Noble, huh? And, I am convinced that, even with all of the regrets and fears I have, even with all the bad decisions and mistakes I’ve made, they are awesome kids and they will turn out fine. Oh, and I almost forgot – thanks be to God for that – not me… So,what? Do I pat myself on the back? Good job, dad… “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? (Luke17:9)
So, I recognize that my job as a dad is very important and I am not taking anything away from that responsibility. But, I think there is a higher calling when considering one’s legacy. I am reminded of the Rope of Hope. Any legacy I build in this life – Discovering time travel,curing cancer, etc. yes, even raising awesome kids who might discover time travel – doesn’t really matter. As my one armed, sober, but sour friend might say, “in a thousand years, none of this will matter.” What happens after the thousand years? What did the man do to earn the comment: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” In Mat25, the two servants who invested the talents were given this praise – and then Jesus goes on to tell of the inheritance to be given to those who were righteous. That inheritance is eternal life. Eternal – that is where a legacy will last. In a thousand years, it WILL matter! Luke 12:33 tells us to make treasures in heaven that will last for eternity. In fact, all of Luke12 gives us these guidelines.
So, how are YOU building YOUR Legacy? Just consider, what are you making a priority in life? I have so many times found my stomach churning while driving my car, my focus distant when sitting with my family at the dinner table, my mind racing at 1 am when I should be sleeping, etc. etc… All because I am suffering about some aspect of life that really doesn’t matter. Maybe, if I miss a deadline at work, I will be reprimanded or criticized. Guess what. In a hundred years, it won’t matter. Choose what is everlasting. Let the rust and moths have all of that which is perishable.
I trust that God is blessing you all and if not, I pray that you claim His promises. He set before you Life and Death and He wants you to choose Life.
Peace – Chazak!