Legacy

Scott DowningCulture, Death, Faith, LifeLeave a Comment

This past Wednesday the church went Roller Skating for our February Meet-Up. It was a lot of fun, and also a lot of work. To be fair, I was wearing roller blades, not roller skates, and I hear they are much easier than roller skates, but I’m not sure, I don’t think I have ever actually roller skated. Anyways, everyone seemed to have a good time, whether they were really good, or barely managed to get around the rink once. One thing that I heard from almost everyone, however, was some variation of “I haven’t done this in years. I don’t know if I’m even going to be able to stand up. I’m so bad at this. I hope I don’t die.” For many of the adults it brought them back years to their childhood, and for many of the kids it was a chance to try something new that’s been around for decades. We were there for a couple of hours, and as we were leaving they were starting their Retro Night, which was a throwback to the 80’s, when roller skating was more popular. It was connecting with the legacy of the sport, the nostalgia of it, and that’s why the skating rink has a Retro Night. People like to feel connected to something, to experience nostalgia, even for something they didn’t experience firsthand. Sports can offer this nostalgia, this connection, this legacy, so can stories, place, and people. Every person that lives leaves a legacy, a story of who they were and what was important to them, and a connection for future generations. 

I tend to get thinking about legacies when people around me pass away. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, we recently had a death in our family. My wife’s grandfather passed away at the age of 97. He had a long life, full of many stories. He had successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of it all, his legacy was filled with music, passion for it, kindness and compassion for people, determination and hope even in the midst of extreme pain and trials, the importance of family, and love, for God and people. As those who knew him talked about him, relayed stories, showed pictures, played music his legacy was put on display as a guidepost for others to follow. Everyone leaves a legacy, something we are known for, our story. For some that story is only remembered for a short time by a few people, for others it resonates throughout history as an example to follow or a warning to avoid, something to learn from. History is essentially a collection of legacies of individuals and nations.

The greatest legacy, however, is that of our Savior, and it is woven into and throughout every other legacy on Earth. The Bible is God’s story, at least a part of it, and a lesson that we all can and should learn from. As the saying goes, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Well, in terms of God, “Those who don’t learn from His Story are doomed.” He is the perfect example, the perfect legacy that we should aspire to and learn from.

So, my challenge for you this week is twofold.
First, learn from Christ’s legacy, study it, model yourself after it. How did He love? Love like that. How did he serve? Serve like that. How did he relate to people. Relate to them in the same way. Live like He did.
Second, live your life in such a way that you leave a legacy that you and others are proud of, one that resonates through generations and that others want to model. Hint. If you are doing the first challenge this second one should come pretty naturally.

— Scott

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