When I look in the mirror, I see a man who has enough life behind him to have learned some things, and yet enough life ahead of him to still feel young. It’s a great place to be, in my opinion. And it’s also a place in my life of increased reflection. Wondering if by chance my life has made enough of an impact that if I were to leave this life today, would anyone have noticed that I’ve been here?
We as humans search for significance, don’t we?
This morning, my wife had asked me to help her look for our kids baby books. There was some information in one of the books that she needed. As I was looking, I came across a three ring binder with the decorative, hand-written words “Jerry’s Memories” on the front. This notebook contains page after page of pictures, notes, letters and memories from students and parents alike from our time in Nyack, NY. As I hurredly flipped through some of the pages, I began to sense that good HAS been done. People HAVE noticed. Perhaps their world WAS impacted by something I said or did. In this search for significance, even the slightest clue that we’ve made an impact is so gratifying.
Yesterday, I officiated at a memorial service for a woman I had never met. That detail was no big deal to me. In fact, my first funeral ever as a pastor was for a man I had never met. I keep this up, and that’ll be a specialty of mine–funerals for strangers. But whether I know the person who has passed away or not, these services always seem to have the same effect on me. I can’t help but wonder what will be said of me, when I’m the one being lowered into the ground.
For starters (as I plan on revisiting and adding to this blog; note the blog title), I suppose I’d do well to live as my Papa did. Papa was my Mom’s Dad. Well into his eighties, he cut the grass of his “elderly” neighbors. I can still see him now, pushing that lawnmower up the street to “go cut the ‘kids’ grass” as he’d say. Wow. What a life and attitude of service to others. I’d do well to leave what I’d call that kind of “lawnmower legacy”. A perspective on life that is not concerned with me, and more concerned with you.
Well, I suppose there’s much more to be said about legacy, but I need to get some coffee and get my day going.