Death.

You probably heard that Tom Bosley (Happy Days), Dixie Carter (Designing Women), and Rue McLanahan (Golden Girls) died in 2010.  You may have even heard about Dennis Hopper (Speed, Hoosiers), Leslie Nielsen and Peter Graves (Airplane),  and Merlin Olsen (Little House on the Prairie). But did you know that the creator of “spaghettios”, Donald Goerke, died?  So did Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who protected Anne Frank.   Andy Irons, the three time world champion surfer, died at age 32.   Alexander McQueen, creative director of Gucci, died at age 40.   Sports greats Robin Roberts (Phillies), Sparky Anderson (Reds & Tigers), and Don Meredith (Cowboys) also passed away in 2010.    That is a short list from World magazine’s (January 1, 2011 issue) article entitled “Departures”.

You may say “So what?  What do I care?”  You may not be familiar with most of them.  (As I get older, I realize that I become more and more familiar with the names of those who have died).   But each of these people accomplished something of enough importance to be listed in World magazine.   For many, it was simply acting in a television show or movie.  For others, it was a political accomplishment.  There was also there the world’s oldest twitterer (a lady named Ivy Bean who died at the age of 104) and the scientist, Thomas Peebles, who isolated the measles virus, which led to the development of the vaccine.

And yet, many of us have never even heard of most of these people.  Most of the names I was familiar with were the names of actors.  The people who had accomplished something of value to this world were unknown to me.  And, so it is in this life.  Most things of value, while they might bring one a small amount of fame in certain circles, do not bring great notice to most of the world.  Do you know the names of the scientists working feverishly to develop a cure for cancer?  Are you familiar with the names of the people who invented the first computer…the dishwasher……the space shuttle…the internet?  Unless you are an avid reader or have great interest in any of these specific areas, you are probably unfamiliar with most of these people.

What about the people who accomplish great things for God?  Do we know who they are?  Sure, we have all heard of Martin Luther, David Livingstone, Hudson Taylor.  But what about the missionaries who reached out to the natives in Irian Jaya?  Or the natives in Peru?  Who started Voice of the Martyrs, the ministry that reaches out to imprisoned believers?  Who braved the Iron Curtain and smuggled Bibles to those who couldn’t get them?  Who is doing that currently in countries that have out-lawed God’s Word?  We don’t know, do we?

Ironically, as I was writing this, my husband told me about the attack on Gabrielle Giffords, congresswoman, and the 6 people who died in that attack.  Jan 8, 2011.  Outside a grocery store in Tucson.  Part of that group was a 9 year old girl, the young granddaughter of Dallas Green, the old Philadelphia Phillies manager.

So…what is my point?  We are all going to die.   Most of us will die without doing anything of enough value to be mentioned in World magazine.  Most of us will not die in a tragic shooting that is broadcast around the world.  But we all will die.  We will all leave some kind of legacy.  It will probably not be a legacy that brings on accolades of men.  It will probably not be a legacy that will cause someone to write an article about you in Wikipedia.  But we will all leave a legacy.  What will be your legacy?  What will be my legacy?

I want my legacy to be that of a godly woman who lived with honesty, kindness, and integrity.  Someone that her children could model themselves after.  Someone who was a blessing to her church family, her extended family, her friends, and her community.  I want to be known as someone who embraced every opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.   Because, quite truthfully, the chances are slim to none that I will ever have a blog that is read by thousands of people.  Or that I will be a famous musician.  I will never have the platform to talk to millions via television about Jesus.

But I do have opportunities every day to be a blessing to those around me.  I have opportunities every day to share with others about Jesus.  What are we doing with our lives that is of eternal value?  What are we doing to make life better for those around us?  What will be our legacy?

I will leave you with the following hymn:

Verse 1
You may build great cathedrals large or small,
you can build skyscrapers grand and tall,
you may conquer all the failures of the past,
but only what you do for Christ will last.

Chorus
Remember only what You do for Christ will last.
Remember only what you do for Christ will last,
only what you do for Him will be counted at the end;
only what you do for Christ will last.

Verse 2
You may seek earthly power and fame,
the world might be impressed by your great name,
soon the glories of this life will all be past,
but only what you do for Christ will last.

Verse 3
Though your armies may control each hemisphere,
and your orbits out in space cause men to cheer,
your scientific knowledge may be vast,
but only what you do for Christ will last.

Verse 4
Though your song and prayers are heard and praised by man,
they’ve no meaning unless you’ve been born again,
sinner, heed these words, don’t let this harvest pass,
for only what you do for Christ will last.

 

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