Monday, June 11, 2007

Build it & they will come...

Today marks the first month since Dad's passing. It is said that time flies when you are having fun. Well, what happens when it isn't fun anymore, and time still gallops like there is no tomorrow?

The events of the month of May still seem distant, almost as if it were a dream. Nonetheless, time is at work, and life goes on. There have been some really personal, special times of reflection, and I have been blessed to recall some very special memories.

Ironically, this past weekend TFH men's camp centered around "Leaving a Legacy". I always knew one day would come for me to sit down and figure out what legacy I was going to build and leave for my children. I think many people build their legacies around material substitutes. At one point that was one of my attaining goals in Zimbabwe, to build a successful powerhouse business that would one day be left to my children. It was on track and success was on the horizon. Then plans changed and we found ourselves across the oceans' floor in the States! No problem...material legacies can be built anywhere, anytime and will usually succeed. If the well being of your children is important then you will make a plan and your legacy will take shape.

Watching Dad for the past three years walk the road that he was called to walk, brought a different perspective to me as far as legacy is concerned. As a family we watched Dad go through the loss and heart break of losing Mom. Being in Holland, not fluent in Dutch, adjusting to a new lifestyle very different to the typical African counterpart, and then being diagnosed with stage 4 NSCC (Lung cancer) Dad successfully adjusted with a few hard knocks along the way. I looked at Dad and wondered what his legacy to us would be when the Lord called him home.

I became acutely aware of the spiritual aspect of what it means to "leave a legacy..."

Dad embraced the Lord with all his heart, and began studying the Bible, watching every possible Christian broadcast he could find, ordering CD's and DVD's to fill his hunger for his search for the Lord. He carried two Bibles - an english and dutch version, and was soon known in his senior's home as the "African Man of God". He would tell everyone his life story, and even while undergoing chemotherapy treatments, would share with the nursing staff, doctors, and patients of how great the Lord is. He never complained, never became lost without hope, never feared the future that lay ahead for him. He never grumbled, and never argued. Those who would visit him were in awe of the peacefulness surrounding Dad. He expressed an astonishing desire to be with the Lord, and knew without a shadow of doubt that his eternal life was secure.

Being at TFH men's camp this year, I equated what we heard and learned to that of Dad's newfound legacy that he left us: To be a man of God; To shine as a light for Christ; To always be ready to give an account of the hope and calling that we have in the Lord in our hearts; To think of others more highly than we do of ourselves; To hunger and thirst for the things of God more than any material possession we can attain and achieve in this life; To not shrink back in adversity, but to stand firm and know that this is a journey and we ought to walk life out in such a way that we draw others to Christ, by example; And finally, to make it one of our life's goals to bring our families both near and far to the throne of grace so that we might all partake in the riches and fullness of Christ that is to come.

So - Legacy, sure the material legacy is important and wise, but I believe the spiritual legacy is of greater importance than the material.

One of these will pass forever, and one will remain after testing forever...

Many events took place that will be kept in the family vault as far as Dad's journey in the last 3 months is concerned, but the most outstanding event is that of how he turned 180 degrees from a life without God to one overflowing with God - that is Dad's Legacy to us, and we receive it, and walk it out, and will build on it and pass it on to our family and so the seed of his legacy will remain, and continue.

EDIT: Take a listen - really great lyrics

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very special sentiments gr8er legacy 2 follow but that of so filling ur heart and soul with the Word,walking the road that u preach, and glowing in it!