A little over a week ago, we had a big retirement ceremony for my boss and mentor. We call him “Chappy” and he’s one of the best bosses I could have hoped to work for.
He is leaving our team to go back to the civilian world and pastor a church.
Our loss is their gain.
I wish him all the best.
Some other pastors spoke at Chappy’s retirement ceremony. The opening prayer was offered by a couple who mentored Chappy many years ago when he first entered the ministry. What’s amazing is that another local pastor also shared how this same couple had influenced him as he entered ministry. Both Chappy and this local pastor have a great influence in our community and beyond. But what struck me was the incredible legacy and influence of this couple who had invested in these two pastors and so many others.
We tend to talk about legacy when people retire or when they die. Often we reflect on the legacy that they have left behind. But here’s a question to consider:
What if you could determine your legacy before the end of your life or career?
The fact is that each day, we shape our legacy or reputation through our words and through our actions.
Coach John Wooden said that our character is who we are, and our reputation is who people think we are. He reminded his players that the first is more important than the second. Ideally, reputation would represent character. We only have some limited control over our reputation, but great control over our character.
Our actions today will shape our character and ultimately our legacy in the future. Let us choose to be men and women of character today, and to raise up those we influence to likewise become people of character.
“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.” – Billy Graham
Let’s get started today, intentionally shaping our legacy, because (like it or not) our actions are already forming one. The question is: will the legacy we leave be one that we can be proud of?
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” -Warren Buffett
What kind of legacy do you want to leave?