When I walk through a cemetery, the most important thing on a gravestone is not the dates of birth and death. Forget the two dates. Just concentrate on the space between the two—usually a dash. What does that dash represent? What happened there? What did that life contribute? After the second date formed the final bookend of that person’s time on this earth, what was left behind?

GravestoneIn The Janitor, the book I’ve been reflecting on the past few posts, Bob (the Janitor) was in the hospital and very ill when he whispered to Roger (the CEO), “It’s not the number of years, but what you do with them that counts.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if you live 20 or 90 years. What matters is how you fill the space between the dates on your gravestone.

The sixth and final axiom that Bob’s wife Alice had passed on to him before her death was simple: “Leave a Legacy.” All of us want to be known for what we left behind more than what we took from the past. Will you leave more value behind you than what you’ve sucked up while on this earth?

Have you had one of those amazing days when you were incredibly busy, going fast and hard all day yet so much was accomplished? At nighttime you take a shower and get ready for bed and all the memories of the wonderful day are flashing through your memory. Your body is tired and exhausted but you know your rest is coming. You know that indescribable feeling of well-being, right?legacy word in vintage wood type

That’s exactly how I think it will feel when we have fulfilled our legacy. We may not have a lot of energy left, we may be tired, but we are ready. Exhausted and happy at the same time. Spent and fulfilled all at once. Leaving a legacy behind.

What you are filling your days with right now is what you will be remembered for in the future. The choices you make today will determine the legacy you will leave tomorrow. Are you leaving the kind of legacy that you want to leave? If not, what is one thing you can change today?

 

QUESTION:  What is one thing you want to be remembered for? Please allow us to be encouraged by your story so share it in the Comment section below. Thanks!

 

 

2 responses to Leave a Legacy

  1. rondelanzo on January 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM Reply

    Dennis,

    Today’s topic touched my heart. Thank you.

    In my mid 40’s I remember sitting in my bank office lunch room and just thanking God for what He had been doing for me financially and the successes in my banking career (V.P. of Commercial Loans for a large bank. As I was praying, God said that He would bless me more abundantly
    than I could imagine. Thinking that He meant financial blessings, I said, “Lord you have already done that.” You see I was not yet ready to understand that I had not spiritually matured in a way to understand at that time God doesn’t think money He thinks about how to grow us spiritually and prepare us for the path and purpose He is preparing for our lives. He also said that one day He would ask me to do something for Him and that I would say yes. l told Him I would – gladly.

    Years later after a series of sinful choices and painful failures, I found myself falling on my knees before God. That is when I began asking Him to please make me into the man of God He desired me to be. Like David, once aware that God saw him as a man seeking His heart, I too wanted to seek God’s heart, and be a man after His heart. At this point, the thing that scared me the most was remembering years before when God had promised that He would ask me to do something for Him and I would. I was so saddened thinking surely I had missed my blessing to do something for God due to my sinful choices.

    As I began to spend much time with God in prayer and devotion, I was so intimately connected to Him that I came to realize two things I was missing were true humility and obedience. In time I also realized that I also didn’t know how to love. Step-by-step God showed me how much He loved me – so much so, that I thought I was going to burst or die. I could not physically hold that much love. Then one by one, He brought hurting people across my path, people I could share His love with.

    The legacy of my life is actually what God has done in and through me, by His patience, grace, guidance, direction and provision. After He had mentored me (and still is), He began to grow in me (and in my wife) a passion for helping marriages. God restoring my own marriage with my dear wife was another amazing and treasured part the legacy that we both will be leaving for many to see. I pray that God will continue to lead us as He desires so that in our last years we will continue to be humbled and obedient to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, reflecting His hope, His love and His ways with others.

  2. Dorothy Ramos on January 25, 2013 at 8:08 AM Reply

    I want to be remembered for how God used me to touch the lives of others. I want people to remember that I loved God with all my heart soul and mind so much so that I poured over the lives of those that God placed in my path.

    On my mother’s gravestone we recently put a Bible to represent the dash in her life. Although my mom came to understand the gift He offered her in her later years in life (I actually witnessed my mom accept Jesus Christ and was rebaptized as we rededicated our lives to Him) God was ALWAYS present in her life. He was there from the time she was conceived through the dark moments in her life to the glory of her growing in Him. She left a legacy. A legacy that God is faithful in every part, every single part of our lives. My mother passed on testimonies that can only and will only give God glory. It was by His grace, mercy and miracle that she was even able to finish her race according to His purpose. I want to pass that on to my legacy…her legacy…the legacy of our Lord and Savior. She passed the baton…it is now my turn to run the race and finish well so when I pass it on they will continue to run until we won’t have to run anymore.

    Thank you for sharing this blog Dennis. So on time as I will celebrate the first year anniversary of my mother’s new birthday. We will reflect on the legacy that was left to continue…God bless…always…

    Dorothy

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