Be mindful of the legacy we each will leave

Published 6:18 am Wednesday, December 27, 2023

By Les Ferguson, Jr.

It’s early Christmas morning as I write this. A sickness of the upper respiratory system has made its way through my family over the last couple of weeks and now it is my turn. 

The coughing has eased for the moment and I sit here in the early morning stillness with a couple of chocolate labs for company. Outside my front windows, a six-point buck has been scrounging for acorns. 

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The day looks to be dreary and overcast outside, but soon there will be warm laughter and excited smiles as presents are retrieved from under the Tree. 

But as I sit here in the quiet of a burgeoning Christmas Day, I find a lot to reflect on, not the least my many blessings. 

Two days ago I spoke at the graveside portion of a funeral service. It was tender, sweet, and inspiring to watch this family come together to celebrate the life of their matriarch. 

I was particularly moved by the word legacy as it was used several times by different speakers. Indeed, just a casual turn of the head as I looked about the church sanctuary revealed her legacy in remarkable ways. 

I’d like to think of myself as a highly educated guy, but I probably dumbed down the average educational accomplishment in this family. It is truly remarkable, but the greater picture of legacy was the mark of service this family lends itself to—as a direct result of her life of serving others before herself.

I think it is safe to say we will all leave some kind of legacy. It may be a financial legacy that blesses the generations that follow. It could be a legacy of spiritual wisdom that lifts those left behind. Maybe it will be a legacy that honors family or hard work. It could be a sports legacy or a career legacy. 

All of those are good, but if I had to choose, I’d rather leave behind a heritage of faithful love and service just like Cora Beal Shields.

What a heritage to leave behind. And like Hebrews 11:4 says about Abel, even though she is dead, she still speaks through her faith.”

Blessings to all during this holiday season – may the new year be bright and beautiful!