This series of posts is dedicated to writing down all the great insights taken in from the teaching every week at my local church. Though I know about half of my readers aren’t religious in any way, There could be something here or in the message from Sunday that you might find interesting, or that might help you out in life. So, if you don’t believe, don’t fear; Just keep reading.
Nic, our children’s Pastor and avid blogger, gave his first Sunday morning message to a room full of adults this week. He did a great (and really funny) job talking to Dads about leaving a legacy to their children. Using the scripture from the book of Deuteronomy , He made the case that the best way to leave a positive legacy with your children is to make God a priority in your life. After all, kids tend to copy their parents behavior.
One interesting statement that he made was that everyone leaves a legacy.
I had a push-back with that one. I could believe that parents leave permanent impressions on their kids, and teachers affect their students for life; but to think that everyone leaves a legacy is hard to believe.
Perhaps the best example of an unexpected person leaving a legacy behind would have to be Henry David Thoreau. This man was a self-proclaimed transcendentalist who lived completely alone on a lake for two years, spent most of his time being a hermit, and died unmarried with no children. One would think that a man like that would have no chance of leaving any lasting change behind. Not so! Not only was his work greatly inspiring and influential in the lives of great later Americans like John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, But his reach, after his death, even spanned oceans and cultures as it touched the lives of people like India’s Mahatma Ghandi and Russia’s Leo Tolstoy! What a life, from a man who said that everyone is a island to himself! Not quite, Henry. Not quite.
Another reason it can be hard to see just how everyone can leave a legacy is because we fail to see the people effected by the people we affect. We can talk to coworkers and influence friends, but rarely do we think of those coworkers’ friends who will be influenced because he repeated some of the things we said. Nor do we think of our friend’s children when, one night he mentions a story to his kids that we told him, to illustrate the power of courage or the value of honesty. The homeless man on the street may think he has no chance of influencing anyone in a positive way. But consider the ramifications of the dad, who shows compassion on the homeless man and displays generosity to his children. Is the dad leaving a legacy? Yes. But the homeless man is leaving it, as well. In fact, you could even argue that the lesson in generosity and compassion could not have even been passed on in the children effectively without having the homeless man in the story.
That brings up a point on the value of illustration in passing on a legacy to our children. Without the homeless man, the lesson on generosity could only have been told, not shown. It would have had to settle for a state of theory, not reality for those kids. I shared a message on leaving a legacy long ago and used the story where David, lying on his death bed, is imparting his wisdom to his son just before dying and passing on his kingdom. Now this is a great download of wisdom to be sure. It even contains practical warnings about dealing his some of Davids unfinished business that he was leaving behind. I never thought about it until yesterday, though, that even though this was a great last-minute download for his son, Solomon, would it have been better taught by example instead? Now we don’t have any stories of david going out on camping trips with little Solomon to teach him life-lessons, or stopping to help the homeless man while his son watched; but I can’t imagine that happened with the fact that David had so many wives and kids, plus a kingdom to run. So, I guess a last-minute speech was all he could do.
Luckily, Bathsheba did an awesome job raising her son to listen to his elders!
I think I’ll save that part for next year’s Mothers Day!
P.S. This was my first and possibly only or one of few “MMSS” blog posts. I am really reluctant to fill my blog with a bunch of weekly features, but if you like this kind of thing and want more of it, then let me know in the comments. Or better yet, repost it on your wall or re-blog it! If people dig it, I might keep it up like that other weekly feature I’m do on Fridays.
P.S.S. If you would like to hear the message I am talking about, then check it out on my church’s website. If you don’t know our children’s Pastor, Nic, then check out his blog. He may be a children’s pastor but, like his sermon, his writing is for grown-ups too.