Life Notes: What Will Your Legacy Be?
by Rick Sutton

Recently, I attended the funeral of a local businessman that stimulated me to thought. There was a common theme that was evident as person after person reflected on the mark this individual had made on others. The world was a better place because of the life he lived.

He had served his country in the military and was always willing to help others in their time of need. He was a humble man with high moral values and always served as a role model for others to follow.

His willingness to help others made me think of a verse in the Bible where Jesus said “I was hungry and you fed me.” Jesus went on to explain that what you do for others you do for him. Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if we continuously tried to exercise the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galations 5:22-23. These things are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It would certainly be a big improvement over our constant pursuit of the self indulgence encouraged by the secular world we live in.

As I thought about this man and his life, three things coworkers had previously said to me came to mind. First, one stated how tragic it is when people live the “unlived life” – referring to the waste of the life that God gave us. To live a significant life we must do things of significance. I’m not referring to personal power or riches, but what we do for others. We should seize each moment to try and do well. One way to gauge significance might be to ask yourself the question, “Do my thoughts lean towards the golden rule or strictly of self?”

Another co-worker once recited a poem that talked about life’s journeys. It seems we spend the majority of our time hurrying to reach our destinations and seldom enjoy and appreciate the journey along the way. We need to “stop and smell the roses” where we can. The journey itself gives us opportunities to appreciate what God has created and opportunities to do God’s will.

A teacher once made the statement that she wished summer would hurry and get here (actually probably many teachers have thought this). However, another teacher made the observation that by doing that, we were actually wishing our life away. Rather than wishing our life away, shouldn’t we be looking for opportunities to make this relatively short life significant to both man and our Maker?

When I was much younger, I once said I would like to be remembered as a “good ole boy” when I died. However, I now realize a lot of “good ole boys” live wasted lives. I would rather be remembered as the gentleman mentioned earlier a man of substance who left his mark and made this world a better place; a man that demonstrated the fruits of the spirit. I would like to be remembered as a man for which God said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

We really don’t have to be Ronald Reagan to live a significant and fruitful life. I believe President Reagan was not only a great American but a man who pleased God. Each one of us should strive to be the same. It basically means doing the “right thing” even when it requires a sacrifice on our part.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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