How do you want to be remembered?
Most of us would love to be remembered as a good person, one who lived life ‘the right way’, one whom people respect, etc.
Some of us would like to be remembered as Christians, most importantly.
In other words, speaking for myself, I want everyone who comes in contact with me to know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ.
I want my words, actions, and motivations to point toward Him.
That all sounds nice…so how do we do it?
One minute, one interaction, at a time.
Yesterday, our family got news of a tragic death of a young man, Ryan Cramer, who had taught some of our children. It was a deep blow to us, and to so many others, but it was especially deep for his wife, Krista, and their young girls.
As we reflected on him, we realized that he was a GREAT Teacher and a marvelous person. He had the ability to convince each student that he cared about them, personally. He believed in them, personally, and he looked forward to seeing them each day, personally. He helped 2 of our girls learn to love school–or at least his class–and to feel genuinely good about themselves, because of his care and concern for them. They are strong, beautiful, competent young women now, partly because of the teachers in their lives–and none moreso than him.
He and his wife, both teachers at our kids’ elementary school, were both the kind of people that we need more of–people who give their lives in service to others, people who invest themselves in the lives of the next generation.
Here’s the thing: Ryan was a young man (certainly compared to myself, anyway). He was in the prime of his life with a wonderful wife and young family.
To be sure, that’s part of what makes it seem so tragic, but what I want to get you to think about is this: Ryan could not have known that the end of this life would come so soon. He did not have time to consider his ‘Legacy’ as many do when they approach retirement age–he had decades to go before that!
That is the point: Ryan LIVED HIS LEGACY out, every day!
He invested himself in the lives of hundreds of children and families over the years, and THAT was his Legacy!
The Scriptures remind us: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12), and “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before even one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16).
God knew Ryan, and the number of his days.
Ryan loved the Lord…he is sharing in eternity with Jesus right now…but he lived his life here on earth as a ‘Legacy’. No, he wasn’t perfect…other that Jesus, none of us are. But he didn’t let that stop him from living a life of impact while he had the time.
What’s it mean for us?
It is another reminder that NOW is the Time! TODAY is the day! Consider how you’re living and what you’re investing in right now!
Live life the way you want to be remembered, NOW. Live your legacy out now–with the power and strength that the Holy Spirit gives–because TODAY is the only day we can influence right now!
As Christians, we don’t want to live simply so that people ‘miss us’; we want to live so that they see Jesus in us! We want to live in a way which points to eternity!
I want to live in such a way that people ‘see Jesus in me’, even if we never talk!
“Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” (1 Peter 2:12)
Ryan may not have known it, but he did it!
…and others…including the Johnson family…saw it!
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)