Being a man, I know that men are driven by the idea of legacy. We long to leave behind something that is worth remembering. Something bigger than ourselves. The idea of somehow out living our own finite life spans by building something that will endure. Many of us let that desire manifest as a pursuit of earthly prestige: positions of power, fame, wealth or influence. These things offer a false hope at a meaningful legacy. Unless you are the next George Washington, Issac Newton or someone of that caliber, your legacy will not endure beyond a couple of generations. Even Tom Brady will no longer be a household name in a hundred years. Even if he is, he will have no control over how he will be remembered. Like everyone else from history, someone out there will try to alter the story of who he was and what he did.
So what am I saying? Do I think that we should not even try to leave a legacy or do I think that desire is wrong? Not exactly. I think the desire to leave a legacy behind is a natural instinct and it drives us to find goals and a purpose to pursue with our lives. This is a good thing. However, I believe that if we let that desire only push us to pursue a personal legacy for ourselves we have missed the purpose that God placed it within us to accomplish. As for myself, it was instilled in me to leave behind a legacy of family. I was taught that through the raising of a family we have the greatest opportunity to leave behind a lasting and satisfying legacy. Even that goal, as pure of a goal as it appears to be, is completely hollow in the shadow of eternity. Sure my wife and kids would remember me and what I did for years to come and even my grandkids might remember me fondly and tell their children about me. Beyond those people however, no one will remember me. Because it was a selfish legacy, one built on preserving me and who I was through my family.
How do we make a legacy worth leaving behind? I think it is easy. I think if you want to leave behind a legacy that will last into eternity you have to tie it to an eternal being. God. I think if you were to live your life and dedicate your time to raising a family to love, serve and fear God. You will have established a legacy that is worthy of eternity.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV
If you want your life to amount to anything beyond the here and now you have to tie yourself to God. It is only through Him and in Him that we have any value. God has a purpose for our lives and He promises that if we give up our own personal desires to follow Him that He will bless us with eternal life. He will give us an eternal legacy. There is nothing else in this world that can compare to that promise.
"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of Lords,"
1 Timothy 6:12-15 NIV
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 KJV