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Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Will Be Your Legacy?

What will be your legacy?

What we do in life echoes in eternity.--General Maximus, Gladiator

I've been thinking about legacies a lot lately.

No, not the material kind. I've been thinking about how a person's life affects his or her children...and even their children's children.

It all started with the 55th anniversary of my father-in-law's pastorate. It's pretty amazing for one man to pastor one church for 55 years! He is 83 years old now, and undoubtedly one of the most godly men I've ever known. The effects of his life and ministry will no doubt be felt for many years after the Lord chooses to call him home.

Then there was Father's Day. I thought about my own father, who was also a pastor, albeit in a much smaller arena than my father-in-law. He passed away in 2004, but his faith continues to live on in his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren.

Both my husband and I can truly say with the psalmist, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."--Psalm 16:6

Last Saturday, my husband and I attended the 50th anniversary party of a dear couple in our church. As we mingled and enjoyed refreshments, a slide show of family photos ran continuously on a gym wall. My husband stopped at one point and exclaimed to me, "I just thought of something. All of this--" and he gestured toward the couple's grown children, families all serving the Lord and impacting their own spheres of life--"all of this was possible. That blows me away."

I grasped instantly what he meant. Because two people chose to love God, serve God and teach their children to do the same, how many lives are going to be impacted? Eternity alone holds the answer.

How many lives will be affected by my life? Even if my influence extends only to my children and grandchildren, that is a truly staggering thought!

On the radio show I co-host, we do a daily "Fun Poll." Today's question was "What's your favorite movie quote?" One of the first callers responded with the words of General Maximus in "Gladiator," as the general, played by Russell Crowe, rallies his troops to battle: "What we do in life echoes in eternity."

How true that is, and how often similar thoughts are emphasized in Scripture. What will my legacy be? What kind of an "echo" will my life have, after I'm gone?

I leave you with the lyrics of a 4Him song that I think really says it all. (You can listen to part of the song below:)

For Future Generations - 4 Him

"For Future Generations"

The signs are obvious, they are everywhere
All that we hear about is the gloom and despair
Too many would be prophets saying
"It’s the end of it all"
‘Cause mother earth can’t take much more
The hammer’s gonna fall

So nature has its needs, that’s a lesson learned
But it appears to me there are greater concerns
‘Cause we can save the planet
Thinkin’ we will somehow survive
But father time is calling us
To save somebody’s life

So I won’t bend and I won’t break
I won’t water down my faith
I won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been I cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
I must be a light for future generations

If we could find a way to preserve our faith
So those who follow us
See the price that was paid
Then maybe when they question
What it’s gonna take to survive
They’ll find the strength to carry on
In what we leave behind

So I won’t bend and I won’t break
I won’t water down my faith
I won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been I cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
I must be a light for future generations
Lookin’ in the eyes of the children
Knowing that tomorrow is at stake
When the choice is up to them
Will they have the strength to say

We won’t bend and we won’t break
we won’t water down our faith
We won’t compromise in a world of desperation
What has been we cannot change
But for tomorrow and today
We must be a light for future generations

--Cindy Swanson

Visit Cindy's personal blog:


Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

You know that is so true. Even in the negative sense. My husband's Father wasn't saved and as a result my husband had a rough life growing up. In his early 20's,Jesus claimed my husband as His own.This is when He knew that he was going to change that legacy from here on out. He was saved when I met him and he was determined to pass on to our children a legacy that will stand the test of time. One grounded in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Thank you for such a great post.

June 20, 2008 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I love that line in well as the line where he states his name.

I often consider what my life will mean. I especially became reflective when I turned 50. Knowing that I had lived most of my life and that I most likely would not have as many years to live as I had just lived made me think. I want life to count.

Thanks for sharing,

June 20, 2008 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Awesome sweetie.

June 20, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

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