The Good Legacy


I want to live the rest of my time here in such a way that when I leave this place, it’s a little bit better of a place than it was before I got here. I don’t want people muttering under their breath at my funeral, “Don’t let the door hit you in the back!”

I figure if I really care about leaving a good legacy the least I can do is avoid leaving a bad one! Some professional athletes will be remembered more for their doping or their gambling than for what they accomplished on the field. In order to leave a good legacy I realize that I don’t have to do anything heroic; I just need to avoid doing anything horrific. Once in a while I’ll put a request in God’s suggestion box for an extra inning or two but mostly I just pray for his help to make the best of the inning I’m in.

Forty some years ago I decided to follow Jesus, and I intend to keep making that decision. At least I’ll try. I’ve been toying with an idea for an inscription on my headstone. “He tried.”

– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway (the profits of which go to Freedom House).

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