22 Dec Leaving a Lasting Legacy
This summer I had a memorable conversation with my Dad. He will turn 65 in a couple of months and he was talking to me about insurance options that my parents had been discussing. As we sat in that small coffee shop in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, I recognized that this was one of the first times I had let myself think about the mortality of my parents. We talked through probably a half dozen scenarios, each of which left a responsibility that would be passed on to my brother and me. The one that sticks out to me now is my parent’s house. They had lived in the same one for my entire life until about a year ago when they finally built a sort of “dream house” my Dad had always talked about. I immediately suggested to my Dad that this house would be part of his “legacy.” It is something so special to my parents now, but more than that, it could be used to bless generations to come. He had never thought of it quite that way before, but I believe he does now.
It’s hard to let things go. Once we come to grips with our own mortality, which is difficult enough in most cases, we then have to work through what it looks like to end life well; more, to live it well enough that it leaves a legacy someone would want to step into. For David, he was the second king that the nation of Israel had ever had. He had made a name for himself as a man of God, a respected king, and a valiant warrior. Shortcomings aside, the man had a massive impact on so many. One of his most impressive and challenging acts, for me, is how he chose to usher in the reign of a new king.
“…we then have to work through what it looks like to end life well; more, to live it well enough that it leaves a legacy someone would want to step into.”
Through the mirrored passages of 1 Kings 2 and 1 Chronicles 29, we watch David use his final days to leave a legacy for his son, Solomon, to embrace and thrive in. David does three important things in these passages:
1. He charges his son to love and fear the Lord. Beyond any feat or failure David had amassed in his days, nothing comes close to outweighing the pursuit of God. In addition to this, he longs to see justice and mercy carried out in a short list of people, acknowledging God’s hand in those scenarios as well.
2. He lets go of his resources to further the work of God in Israel. David recognizes that everything God has planned for his people cannot be accomplished in the time he has. The Lord had already made it clear to him that the task of building the Temple would not be his but his son Solomon’s. In light of that, David did everything in his power to pave the way for what God had for Solomon.
3. He interceded for and challenged his people. David shares a powerful perspective in 1 Chronicles 29:14 – 17, reminding us that our lives are a shadow and what we are given in their duration is a gift from God that must be held loosely and with thankfulness. He pours his heart out to God, pleading to work in the lives of his children and people, that they would continue to thirst for and obey the Lord.
“Let this be a challenge to all of us to live in a way that looks to the future, building a legacy of devotion, kindness, and generosity.”
These are things God is teaching me, even as a younger adult. As I wrestle with the ideas of living in and living out the legacy of my own family, I am reminded that the days I am given are just that: a gift. I don’t know how much time I have or what God has for me. David lived a life, not just near the end, that was focused on God and His work. Let this be a challenge to all of us to live in a way that looks to the future, building a legacy of devotion, kindness, and generosity. Above all, let us hold loosely the pleasures of this world in pursuit of the glories in the next, knowing that our fate and ultimate legacy has been redeemed by Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.
Nate works as a realtor and has a knack for communication. He believes a good meal shared with good people is the best this life can offer. Throw in a Spielberg film afterwards, and he’s all set. Nate attends our Downtown campus.