“Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so that they will kiss their children, and their children’s children” – Noah benShea (poet/philosopher)
One of my big thoughts these days centers around this whole concept of leaving a legacy….for me this proverb goes way beyond the physical expression of a kiss that wil be felt by generations. When I read this the first thought that came to mind were…”what am I investing and pouring into my kids that will be felt and experienced for generations to come? These thoughts brought me back to something I had wrote back in April:
22 04 2008
Today as I sit here in my office preparing to attend one of my grade 8 guys fathers memorial service – I sit with a quiet anticipation and a restless spirit. It wasn’t too long ago when I received one of those unexpected phone calls that leaves you stunned. I never imagined that Sunday after arriving home from church I would receive the information that my father had died.
It was my privilege to be asked by my family to officiate my father’s celebration of life service. In preparation for that service I had a real difficult time trying to articulate what was on my heart. Obviously I loved my father – but I struggled with what to say because in many ways I felt Iike I didn’t really know him.
I began to think of my own funeral – “What would my own kids say about their OLD MAN? What kind of legacy would I leave after I’m long gone? My thoughts quickly took me to Philippians 1:20-21: “I eagerly expect and hope that … Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
How would you fill in the blank? It’s time to be brutally honest – “For to me to live is _________.” The true answer – could potentaily be, “For to me to live is my business, is sports, my home, or my success. To me to live is my family, my friends, my education, my dream.” Here’s the problem: if we’re living for any one of those things, to die is to lose it all. It’s only when for you “to live is Christ” that to die will be gain.
In Highschool I had a friend Mark…he was 6′4, blond hair, and captain of the football team. Evey guy in the dorm aspired to be him and every girl in the highschool wanted to date him. Shortly after the Christmas of 86′ Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and within weeks he ws gone. As I look back on that defining moment in my life, I’m not sure what he was living for. Before the cancer he was a crazy highschooler – but after the diagnosis he completely transformed into a totally different person.
Through all the chemo and pain Mark had concluded that one major reason was for him to live for Christ in such a way that the people he cared about, the people who looked to him, would want his Jesus so they could be in heaven with him someday. He began to live in such a way that “Christ would be exalted” by his life. And because he did, Christ was really exalted by his death.
If my dad or Mark were here today, I believe they would tell you, “Don’t wait to surrender your life and your influence to Jesus Christ. You never know how many days you have left to make your life count for something that will last forever.”
As I head off to this service – you can be sure- I’ll be contemplating…What am I REALLY living for?