How Will You Be Remembered?
- Wednesday, May 02, 2007
As another birthday passes and the candles on my cake resemble a small grease fire on the stove, it’s hard not to wonder what tomorrow (and the Lord) holds for me.
I personally struggle with questions about what I’ve been able to accomplish, who I’ve been able to impact, and whether or not my life has been a “success.” I speculate where I may be in five or ten years, whether I’ll have a family or not, and what my life may be like.
I think about the many people who have been in my life and have since passed on – my father, my brother’s father-in-law, my grandparents, my aunt, a former roommate, friends, instructors, former classmates. I recall things that we did together, discussions that we had, and lessons that they taught me. I remember them most for the blessings that they’ve been to me.
With these questions and thoughts, I have to ask myself, “What will I be remembered for?” “What kind of legacy will I leave behind?” “Do I even matter?”
Some people these days seem to strive for that “memorable moment” through outrageous behavior, verbal statements, or “reality show” experience. It seems that musicians, athletes, and actors have become influential role models whom people are emulating in their dress, action and personality. In many ways, it appears that society has lost its focus and its way.
We would all do well to look toward the examples of some of the "major palyers" in the Bible, who I have to believe had similar questions and struggles during their lifetimes:
- Moses – led his people out of Egypt, wandered in the desert for forty years, and then received his personal commission from God.
- Joseph – thrown into a ditch by family, left for dead, but became the second most powerful man in Egypt.
- David – born deficient in size, but slain the giant Goliath, confronted by sin, confessed, humbled himself, and led a nation.
- Solomon – a man of honor and riches, contributed to the destruction of a nation, but left us with a book of wisdom.
All of these men exhibited determination, belief in God, and faith, but in some ways it’s difficult for me to relate to them personally. Their callings and personas are greater than anything that I could ever imagine. Even though they were humbled at different periods in their lifetimes, by challenges and sins that are common to all of us, they seem to be larger than life.
I identify with the more “down to earth” characters in the Bible, those who don't have chapters written about them, those who probably don’t have any major monuments honoring them, those who just listened and followed the Lord. I have always liked these “behind the scenes” type of guys, the underdogs in some ways, because that’s who I relate to, and whose qualities I admire.
- Phillip (the evangelist) – eager to share the gospel (with an Ethiopian eunuch) – Acts 8:26-40
- Boaz – successful businessman, generous and compassionate (to the servant girl) Ruth – Ruth 3
- Elisha – a good friend, student and servant (to Elijah) – 2 Kings 2
- Joseph of Arimathea – caretaker (of Jesus’ body) – Luke 23:50-5)
- Andrew, Bartholomew, Philip – disciples (of Jesus) – Mark 4:18
A few things can be said about these men: they were obedient, they followed the Lord, they loved people around them and they didn’t look for any recognition or personal gain. Whether married or single, they didn't seem to let that become an issue in their service to Christ.
But with the consistent themes throughout the Bible of family, family lines, father-son relationships, family curses, legacies, etc., I must admit that sometimes I feel, as a single adult (without children), that my life hasn’t begun and won’t matter until I marry. And you know what? That has to be the biggest lie that the enemy is trying to get me to believe. Marital status has nothing to do with God’s ability to use you and me and to impact people.
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