This short word carries a lot of weight. For some people it’s their entire purpose in life.
Legacy is defined as “a thing handed down by a predecessor”.
The word “Legacy” is used in quotes to describe what type of person someone was, what others think of them after they’ve retired or passed on, and what type of impact or positive difference they left on others.
One of my favorite quotes on legacy comes from a man who made a Grand Canyon sized dent for good in our world. A man who’s boldness in what he believed in earned him the right to speak to millions of people and advise U.S. Presidents. Some would say his Legacy will live on forever. I agree.
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” — Billy Graham
Dr. Billy Graham’s journey on to his home in Heaven leaves an echoing wake of influence behind him. He spent nearly 60 years traveling the world teaching people about the life of and the reality of redemption with Jesus Christ.
Millions of lives were forever changed because they heard him speak, read his books, or talked with someone who he had impacted before.
Dr. Martin Luther King payed one the highest of compliments to Dr. Graham after their quest in the Civil Rights Movement by saying,
“Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the Civil Rights Movement would not have been as successful as it has been.” — Dr. MLK
U.S. Presidents sought his council during their election campaigns and during their terms as President, stretching from Truman to Obama, granting him the nickname “Pastor to the Presidents”.
I recently read a phenomenal book titled Unbroken about the incredible life and survival story of an Olympic athlete and WWII hero, Louis Zamperini. This is one of those I can drink more coffee, how dare I put it down kind of reads. Interestingly enough a major part of Louis life was so impactful and successful because everything changed for him after he reluctantly attended on of Billy Graham’s outdoor sermons. Now this book is circulating all over the world laying seeds of impact in its path.
What a tremendous Legacy!
Think for a second how many life altering decisions were made at one of Billy Graham’s talks…
Now imagine…When those life altering choices were put into practice in homes, how BIG were the ripple effects that spread across generations after?
Personally, I didn’t have the honor of meeting Billy Graham. I couldn't tell you how tall he was, how strong his presence was, or how convicting his voice was. Yet he still left an impression on my life.
My parents used to have his books around the house and listen to cassette tapes of his sermons when I was little. I remember thinking WOW this man sure does feel strongly about Christ! He sounds like a GIANT!
I also remember thinking he really is deeply compassionate about the betterment of people too. The two go hand-in-hand. You could just feel it listening to him speak.
His passion for others and boldness to stand for his beliefs made an internal impression in me as a little boy that will never leave. What do you think will be some characteristics I’m using to teach and mentor my son.
You see, Legacy to me means this:
How other people act because you were in their life someway.
Did you leave that person a little better or a little worse after your interactions?
How do they view the world differently now? How does the world view them differently now?
I think we leave little seeds of Legacy behind us everywhere we go. Every time we have a face-to-face conversation. Phone call. Email. Social media post. Talk we give. And even how we just listen to someone.
Everyday we are constructing our Legacy Mural.
How will yours look to people after you’ve moved on?
Thank you Dr. Billy Graham for leaving a lasting Legacy for us all to follow. You will be forever missed.
God Bless you, your family and your Legacy!
To Your Success,
Talent Development Specialist