Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Legacies and Memories...

The terrible tragedy of the mass murders at Virginia Tech University has prompted many emotions in all of us. Shock, feeling sick to our stomach, sympathy for the families of the victims, wondering if the college students we know are safe and all kinds of feelings about the young man who took so many lives. It has also caused many to think about those we love, and fuel our desires to contact loved ones and remind them of how much they mean to us.

All of this has also triggered some thoughts and memories for me. Dealing with memories of my loved ones reminded me of some of the legacy that I am privileged to enjoy. I am truly blessed when I think of much of my family legacy. I was raised in a very loving, Christian home with parents who loved me and my brother and loved each other very much. My brother (he is older than me, he is good brother and I bugged him a lot growing up) were talking a few years ago about marriage and about our parents marriage. We both agreed that we assumed it was simple, find the one you love, get married and then have a great marriage. Mom and Dad made it seem so easy and their love was so obvious. We both have great marriages but laughed about our discovery that it was quite that simple. I had two sets of loving, hard-working, Christian Grandparents. Both of my grandfathers were farmers, well respected in their communities and did a lot of serving in their churches. I only know much about one of my sets of Great-grandparents, but I know that they were wonderful, Christians as well. I have had great uncles and aunts, wonderful cousins, yada, yada, yada. Don't misread this, there have been problems and heartaches, but I am truly blessed. When I married I tapped into another group of people who have meant a lot to me and blessed my life.

One of the streams of my legacy is that of Chrisitan service. My great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, all served in their respective churches. From teachers, to treasurers, to board members, to mowing lawns, and much more. There is also the issue of pastoral service. I am a pastor, my son is a pastor, my dad was a pastor, my brother pastored for several years, one of my great-grandfathers was a pastor and evangelist, a nephew is a part-time staff member and a cousin is a pastor. That is a lot of pastors, and I probably left out some from the past. There was never any expectation, or assumption, of becoming a pastor, at least not for me. But the example and heritage has been invaluable.

I have great memories and great legacies to follow. Here's hoping that you have great memories and legacies of your own, and if not that you are determined to create them in your life and family. Here's to the families who lost loved ones so suddenly, violently and way too young this week. Here's hoping that we all are hugging our own loved ones a little tighter and praying for those who now have empty arms.


Post a Comment

<< Home