September 27, 2012 by Will Ray
One of the things I reflected on as I returned home was the vast amount of history that we saw and reflected on. I spoke to my students about it on my first Wednesday back at Bridge, because it was incredible to witness.
In New York, we saw the 9/11 memorial, dedicated to the death of many innocent people and the sacrifice made by all the first responders who died or were injured on that day saving the thousands that made it out alive.
In Boston, we visited the home of John Adams – Peacefield – and saw the park that comprises his old land. We saw statues and original portraits (painted in 1700’s!) of the man himself, immortalized because of his work to help America claim its rightful station in the world. His influence in the United States’ founding can’t really be understated, as I’ve found in my reading – he didn’t play second fiddle to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
These people’s names are written in stone. They’ll be remembered for decades – maybe even centuries to come for what they did in their time on this earth.
The question that hit me hard was “What do you want to be remembered for?”
What do you want people to say about you when you’re gone from their presence? What do you want people to remember about you for years and years after your death? You can be known in this world for many, many different things, but what do you want?
Your life will shine light on the things you lived for. John Adams’ life shines light on the greatness of this country and its provincial founding. The life of the people who died on 9/11 shines light on humanity’s ability to rally together and the goodness that can be found in crisis. What do you want your life to shine light on?
Choose wisely, because how you live your life affects how others will live theirs. I will live my life differently because I know how John Adams lived his, because of how 9/11 responders lived and gave theirs.
Beyond how people will remember you when you’re gone from their presence, what do you want God to say about you when you arrive in His?
There’s a great song that I shared with my students about this. “Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman says nearly this exactly. Check it out below, and pardon the “early 2000’s” look of the video, lol.
Question: What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want your life to “shine light” on?