Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:20-21 (ESV)
He sent me a couple of pictures recently. He is now a Captain in the United States Air Force, and member of the crew of an AWACS plane flying regularly above this country, and over other more troubled parts of our world, maintaining surveillance with an eye toward security.
The contribution he is making, and the legacy he is leaving began long before this moment. When my Godson Kevin James Fletcher was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, his contribution took on new direction and impetus. It continues to this day as he lives the legacy he is leaving through his work, with his family and friends, and in his journey in this world.
We may remember some of their names—Clark, Williams, Hall, Wilson, Harrison, Jefferson, and Hancock who—along with forty-nine others—signed The Declaration of Independence over two centuries ago. We should know them all—they deserve to be remembered for what they did for us more than just one time a year as we did a few weeks ago. They knew full well that as they signed that noble document it would mean the death penalty if they were captured by the British. They were not wild ruffians, but men of means, educated men, and men of profound faith and character who valued liberty more than they valued their own lives, and whose legacy has impacted the lives of so many in so many places since those moments of commitment years ago.
His name was Shutruk-Nahunte, King of Anshand and Susa, Sovereign of the Land of Elam. He lived around 1158 BC in the area of the Mediterranean. Don’t bother looking, you probably won’t find him in the history books, and it was unlikely he was remembered in the hearts of any of his peers. He lived a life devoid of character and contribution, and a life remembered only by an accidental few, for reasons ignominious. The reason is suggested in this quote from the movie “The Emperor’s Club”—“Great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance.”
His name was Tom Landry. He lost more Super Bowls than he won of the ones he participated in during nearly thirty years as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. But his contributions to our world continue to be reflected in the lives of people he touched from every walk of life. He was a man of profound character and faith, and a friend who realized that the life he was given was a gift to be used fully not only for his good and for those close to him, but also for the good of others throughout the world—and all for God’s glory.
What will our contribution be? Will we add value to the world, and to the lives around us, or take it away? What will our legacy be?
Will it be reflected by the plaques on our walls, the trophies on our mantles, the dollars in our bank accounts, in moments of ambition or conquest for their sake alone, or for the victories claimed during our careers, the size of our homes, the number of cars in our garages, or the titles or positions we have held?
Or will it be reflected in the people we have helped, the friends we have stood by, the children we have lifted to a brighter day, the lives which are better because we lived, the courage we have shown in the face of injustices we have confronted, or in the selfless service we have rendered.
How will we be remembered? We will be remembered by our contribution or lack of contribution. Will we be remembered by what we have added to the world and the lives around us, or by what we have taken away? We will leave a legacy either way—and it is the one that we are living today and every day.
What will our contribution be?
What will our legacy look like at the end of each of our days, and at the end of our time here on earth?
Just something for us to think about, and maybe even do something about, today and every day for the rest of our lives.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2013. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.