I’ll never forget who I saw at the airport in Houston around 10 years ago. My wife and I, with our four young daughters in tow, were making our connecting flight home to Colorado. As we slowly walked the terminal to our gate, we saw an electric passenger vehicle approaching us from the opposite direction. Every seat was filled, but one passenger especially caught my eye. His seat was in front. His broad smile hinted at a possible captivation with our four young daughters, attempting to make eye contact with each one, before locking eyes onto mine. As he rode by, I froze in my tracks. I quickly pointed out to my family that the former President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, had just passed by our way. I’ll never forget his warm smile and gentle nod at me.
This week, our nation says goodbye to that man known for his respect for others. The consistent theme for each eulogy, tribute, commentary, and articles describes the legacy of President George H. W. Bush as a man of decency, kindness and genuine care in how he treated people. It’s interesting to note, his legacy of kindness is far greater than his litany of powerful positions held throughout his career. It’s a reminder to you and me, it’s not what we accomplish in life that truly matters, but how we treat people along the way.
This week, I challenge you to take inventory of your life and ask yourself, what kind of legacy are you building? Are you loving people, treating them with respect and showing grace and forgiveness when you are wronged? Are you living life according to the golden rule as Jesus established? Because someday, you and I will have our eulogy read . . . and what will be said?
Reminds me of a poem written by Linda Ellis called The Dash. It goes like this:
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives as we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Col 3:12