Legacy: What Will Mine Be?

In just a few days we will celebrate the 4th of July, our country’s birthday.  Never in history has there been a country with the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.  Even the poorest among us are wealthier than many people in our world.  My hope is that as you celebrate the 4th you will take time to remember those who make these freedoms and liberties possible.  As a part of this celebration, I’m including a poem written for my father, a WWII veteran.  Happy birthday, America!

I Remember You

© Mary Kay Glunt 2004

When I walk into my church, free and without fear,

I remember you.

When I see children playing in the school yard, girls and boys of all kinds,

I remember you.

When I see families working together, regardless of religion or nationality,

I remember you.

When I go to sleep without worry for my family’s safety,

I remember you.

When I see our flag waving in front of my home, and when I can salute that flag without fear of reprisal,

I remember you.

When I remember you, I think of the sacrifices you made so I could have these things.  I think of your commitment and your service beyond mere duty.  I think of all that you have given so that I and those I love can be free.

When I pray at night and give thanks for the blessings God has given,

I remember you.

 

What Will You Leave Behind?

It has been a big news week.  Four major celebrities passed from this life, three of them unexpectedly. In each case, however, they made headlines.  I have been thinking, what will people say when my time comes?  I am quite sure there won’t be any media coverage except for a short obituary in a local newspaper.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not lamenting my lack of celebrity.  In fact, I gave up on being famous long ago.  The truth is that I am concerned about what I will leave behind. Will my life have made a difference in the lives of others?

We look at the lives of Jesus and the disciples and hope to emulate their commitment.  Those who risked their lives to sign the Declaration of Independence left behind a legacy that we celebrate and still try to follow.  Martin Luther King Jr. said it even better than I could, so I leave you with his words. 

“Every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is it that I would want said?”  And I leave the word to you this morning.

 “If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. . . .

“I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.

“I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.

“I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.

“I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.

“And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.

“I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.

“I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.  And that’s all I want to say.”

If I can help somebody as I pass along,

If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,

If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong,

Then my living will not be in vain.

 If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,

If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,

If I can spread the message as the master taught,

Then my living will not be in vain.” – MLK

SOURCE: A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Those are good words.  Like Rev. King, I want people to know that I tried to serve God. The truth is that all we have to do is do our best.  God will take our feeble attempts and use them for His glory.  Happy 4th of July!

Pastor Mary Kay Glunt

revmkg@sbcglobal.net

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