June is a month that marks the beginning of summer and received with great joy from kids who look forward to biking, swimming, playing, and hanging out with friends. It is also a month that we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. For me, with both of my parents residing in Heaven, it is bittersweet. I am sad that they are gone but grateful for the legacy that they left behind for many of us.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “legacy” as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor from the past.” Some common legacies are: She left us a legacy of a million dollars, or he left his children a legacy of love and respect for others and for self. The importance of leaving a positive legacy is critical. What will others remember about you? How will lives be changed that come after you because of the way you chose to live?
I began to play golf under the tutelage of my father at age seven. It seems like yesterday when I turned ten and was finally eligible to play in tournaments. My first competition was a day away, and I needed some last-minute help from my dad. He took me to the golf course to play a few holes. On the first hole, I hit a bad drive, threw my club, and my dad said nothing. He picked it up and put it in his bag, and we continued playing. After the fourth hole, I had only four clubs left in my bag; my dad thought it was time to quit. He walked with me to the clubhouse, and I waited for him outside the men’s locker room. Soon he came out without my clubs that he had collected as we played. I asked him where they were. “They are in my locker where they will be staying for a while.” I responded in horror, “I have to have them! If not, then I am not going to play in the tournament!” “Oh, you will be playing, and I will be caddying.” He bent over and cupped his hand with my chin in it, looked me in the eye and said, “Until you understand, young lady, that you will not be long remembered for the tournaments you win but rather for your character, you are not getting them back.”
I thought about that day as I went to the cemetery with some flowers for our family gravesite. I looked at the gravestones, and memories flooded my mind. I thought of my mom, who taught Bible studies, led several organizations and loved and served her family well. She made us laugh and never met a person she didn’t like.
My dad owned a business and was in the Golf Hall of Fame in Michigan. He won many tournaments, but you would never have known it, he was a humble man with a great sense of humor. I am quick to say that mom and dad were not even close to being perfect; they would be the first to tell you that. They were sinners saved by Jesus, who lived out their lives with humility, generosity, and leadership wherever and whenever they were needed.
How can we, as Christians, leave legacies that will influence the lives of those who follow?
- Study the word of God, pray for your friends and family. Take the time to get to know those whom God has entrusted to you. Be bold and share Jesus with them.
- Live a life of thanksgiving in all areas of life. During the good and hard times, know that God is with you, and there is a lesson to be learned. Suffering can be a powerful evangelistic tool.
- Love others well.
- Be a giver.
- Be a mentor.
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Laugh a lot.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
So, my dad took me to my tournament. I was the only one there with only four clubs. Humiliating. Needless to say, I was on my best behavior; no clubs went air-born. It was my first tournament win and the last time I ever threw a club. Lesson learned. Thanks, Dad!
Blessings and much love!