Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
~ Ray Bradbury
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.
~ Shannon L. Alder
We learned last night that golfer Arnold Palmer had died earlier in the day at age eight seven. The king is dead; long live the king. I viewed a video tribute and was amazed at the impact of one man on the world of sport and beyond. Call it narcissistic to a degree, but I could not help taking stock of my own life and questioning my influence. I preach the necessity of detecting the weight of glory in the ordinary, and in the end believe that it will prove to yield the greater legacy. But I cannot help but ask, why and how will it matter that I was here? Who will be the better for it? What might I have done differently that would have yielded a greater return on the investment of my life? Is it too late to set my feet in cement for future generations to remember and learn from?
“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”
Isaiah 25:1 NIV