The church was filled. People were standing in the back, to the sides, and across the hall in another room. The crowd that was there for my father-in-law’s funeral, the celebration of his legacy, was only half of those that came. With the visitation the hour before, people came in to see the family and then left creating room for others to come in.
The influence this man had on the lives around him was evident in the number of faces we saw that day. Each person touched in a special way by this man and the way he lived his life. The stories were many and some I had never heard, but they all had a common thread, love. A trait that permeated all the tales told that day.
Terry Benedict didn’t have many possessions to be envy of; he died without a boat or dump truck to his name. He didn’t have a fancy car or house, but Terry died a rich man. He died a wealthy man in the legacy that he left.
The man knew no stranger and treated everyone he met as a friend. When he was around, a smile was on your face. He emitted love and kindess in a way that would make you feel like you had known him all your life. If he could help you in anyway, he would. He knew that relationships were more important than possessions and you felt it in his actions. His priorities were never something that were in question. He loved Jesus and he loved others.
I want to be remembered like that.
A legacy, the story of a life, is built day by day with the choices made and the priorities held. When possessions take priority over people, it shows in our legacy. Every now and then I lose sight of my priorities and that shows in different ways. When I focus on my self image it can keep me from showing love. When I am selfish with my time it can keep me from showing love.
When I focus on what I have in my house instead of who I have in my house I miss opportunities to love.
When I see Jesus face to face and leave this world, I want to leave a legacy that tells of Christ’s love and kindness. I want people to remember me for the stuff in my heart and not in my house.