I spent the weekend celebrating the life of a great man whose life impacted my husband and his family with far greater reaches than I will ever know.
This weekend caused me to hit the pause button on life and really think about what we leave behind in this world. All of us will some day die and at the end of our days, what really matters? The time I spent with the Wood family this weekend taught me four valuable lessons that I want to hang on to.
1) A man who leads and loves his family through every season will see the fruit of that in his old age and even after death. Jason’s grandpa, Sam, was a man who loved his family so deeply and that love poured out into his children and grandchildren. The conversations we had around their dinner table were filled with laughter and sweet memories of time they spent at the cabin or just in regular day life. This family held a bond that even though many of them live hours away from each other, there was a love and compassion that transcends the distance. Do I live with the end in mind? Is our small family forging a legacy that will transcend our death?
2) Laughter is good for the soul. The Wood family knows how to have a good time! There wasn’t an hour that passed that someone wasn’t making a joke or telling a funny story about Sam or another family member. Laughter was so very good for our souls this weekend as we remembered how much Sam loved to bring happiness to people’s lives. Where do I find joy in life and do I share that joy with others?
3) The legacy of how you live your life lasts longer than anything else you may have accomplished. Sam had many, many accomplishments in his 83 years of life, but what was spoken of him was not what he did, but the man that he was. The way he lived his life made the biggest impact on the people who meant the most to him. How am I living my life today that will last into eternity?
4) Listening to people’s stories is the best way to show you care. Jason’s family is a story telling family, but they also listen with care and with deep compassion. This weekend, Jason and I had something happen in our personal lives that was completely unrelated to Sam’s memorial, but his family listened and grieved with us. None of his family know me very well, but I felt like one of them this weekend as they listened to the crazy journey that Jason and I are on. I felt so loved because they listened. How well am I listening to other people’s stories?
What I find interesting is that this week our pastor preached on living with the end in mind. We are going through the book of Ecclesiastes and I found Josh’s sermon on chapter 7 very pertinent to the questions and thoughts I came away with from this weekend. Here is the link to his sermon.
So I end with asking you those same questions that I asked myself this weekend. Are you leaving a legacy that you want your children and your children’s children to celebrate after you’re gone?