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Creating legacy one day at a time

 

co-oak-arches.jpgIn July I celebrated my 70th birthday in Nashville at the Melting Pot Restaurant, with a fine dinner and festive atmosphere for this special occasion. Though born in the Missouri Ozarks, near Fort Leonard Wood, I am now and plan to remain a Clarksville resident and productive citizen in our community. At my age, I find it this to be an enriching place to live out my remaining 15-20 years.

Since turning 70, I am analyzing my situation,and have made the following observations:

  • I am still maturing
  • I still enjoy sports
  • I’m dedicated to a high health standard
  • I still appreciate exercising
  • I recognize the brevity of life more than ever before
  • I’ve enjoyed the World Series and the weekly Titans game
  • I enjoy serving as a board member on several dynamic community organizations
  • I continue to discover the security, peace and direction of my faith and appreciate my spiritual resources
  • While this litany could continue, I find myself pondering and reminding myself of my legacy. Not what it will be, but rather, what it is now.

It’s there, and I accept cognitively and emotionally that “it is appointed once to die.” So what is my legacy? I quietly assess my behavior and attitudes:

For me, at this stage of maturity, my legacy includes how I will be remembered in that first year after I pass. My present behavior and attitude testify to my values that will hopefully leave an impression, especially on my grandchildren.

How will my five grandchildren remember me? I ask myself and model my life so as to have a positive effect on their development. My legacy to them, even at this time, is to help instill the values of generosity, affection, forgiveness, enthusiasm, diligence and a dedication to education and spirituality.

What is my legacy to my 15-year-old Pub, Cassie? If she remembers anything, and I think she will, it will be that she has received tender loving car, the best of medical care, daily exercise, 25 pats on the head and our moments of play, which are seldom now with the increasing in aging (hers more than mine). She isn’t a puppy anymore.

One unit of my present legacy is the habit of being proactive. This is an accurate image which portrays long term planning for the future. I am persuaded that my present values and characteristics are surely impacting others, especially the grandchildren. We leave our mark on others; that is our legacy.

In the Upper Room Devotional Magazine [10/9/07], Tom of Utah shared poignant remarks on this subject, one such assuring comment being:

“Whether I realize it or not, I influence those around me each waking moment”

Each day we are building our legacy.

Josiah was a political leader in the old testament. For 31 years he gave guidance and brought security and economic stability to his small nation. Daily he built his legacy of doing “what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” [2Kings22:2].

Each day, we are building our legacy.


About Rev. Charles Moreland

    Rev. Charles Moreland

    Rev. Charles Moreland, retired, has lived in Clarksville for seven years and holds great pride in his adopted city and its people. His one objection in Tennessee is the Hall law of taxes on dividends and savings. Charles served in the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from 1966-1986, retiring to serve as a United Methodist pastor near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the ARP, Roxy Theater and MCDP. Though retired, he is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. His five grandchildren, ages two to thirteen years, live in Evansville, Indiana. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in Germany and Korea while on active duty.

    Email: MLPmoreland@aol.com

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