How do you want to be remembered? When you think about this question, do you think big? Does your mind go to a local, national or even a global scale? Or do you think about your immediate family or extended family? Whichever thought comes to your mind, I invite you to stick with it and see where it takes you. How do you want to be remembered? What people do you want to impact most? What kind of impact do you want to have on those people?
So many questions – it can seem overwhelming to even start to think about a legacy. As we have been exploring in the Sunday sermons, our legacy is determined by how we spend the time, talent and treasures that God has given us.
In my family (through my wife’s side), a legacy has been left during the last four generations. My wife’s great grandfather and grandmother loved nature and loved their family. They left a lasting legacy by using some of their treasure and time to purchase property on a lake in Wisconsin in 1904. They enjoyed family gatherings at the property and envisioned future generations gathering there, too, and upon their death, they passed the property to their children. Their legacy has been honored and continued through the generations as the extended family has made it a priority to gather annually in this special place. Family members have gathered, celebrated, married and even died at the lake. My wife’s grandparents were married looking out at the lake and, over 50 years later, my wife and I were married at the lake, too.
Rather than just talking about the value of family, they left a place where their children could live out family matters. They clearly wanted the property to be shared and this value has been passed through each transition from one generation to the next. With the next transition, there will be multiple “owners,” all of whom will be investing in the ongoing legacy. Much like the gifts from God, the owners don’t really “own” anything, but rather are given the privilege of investing their time, talent and treasures into a property that will be left for and benefit others. What a beautiful, generous legacy that has been left! – Bill Ernstrom, Director of Operations