As a pastor's kid, it was sometimes difficult to listen to your dad at home, then go to church and have to listen to him there as well. To all my PK’s (preacher’s kids), I have much love for you! Growing up, you don’t always want to listen to your parents, but when they’re your parent and your pastor, things can get interesting. Most sermons were simply static noise while I was trying to beat my friends at tic-tac-toe or rock-paper-scissors. But there’s one sermon that as I’ve gotten some life under my belt, resonates with me more than the hundreds of other sermons that I’ve heard before. Life in the dash… when you walk through any cemetery, on each headstone you’ll see a start date, a dash, and an end date. Your entire life… every decision, good and bad… every relationship… every raise… every holiday… every vacation… every laugh and every cry… everything that is you is contained within that dash. No one decides what goes into that dash except you. What kind of legacy are you going to leave?
No matter your religious affiliation, or lack thereof, we can all agree that each of us has an expiration date. Unless you’ve discovered the key to immortality, the Bible says that each person is destined to die. I’m deep in my mid 30’s… 35 to be exact. Realistically, I’m approaching mid-life at breakneck speed. I love it when people say on their 50th birthday that they’re at mid-life. How many people do you know live to be 100? But I digress… as I look at my own mortality, realizing that life is so incredibly short and can change in the blink of an eye, the importance of realizing what’s important and keeping my priorities in check is vital! It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race of the world. Chasing promotions, chasing that new car or new house… while all this chasing is going on, you’re constantly filling that dash. What are you filling it with?
Facebook has a feature that I love and hate at the same time. It keeps a record of different memories on that day, and when you go to open Facebook, the memory will pop up on your news feed. Just today, a memory popped up from seven years ago of me holding my little baby girl… who is now almost in second grade! I feel as though that picture was literally taken yesterday! And with the birth of each of my four kids, my life continues to zip along at hyper speed. With the advances in technology, what we do on the internet will leave a permanent digital footprint. Theoretically, your great-great-grandkids will be able to see pictures of you on your cruise in June of 2012. I wouldn’t know a great-great anyone even if they walked up and punched me in the face. No other time in history have we ever had such opportunities to reach into people’s lives and make a positive impact. But I just did a blog last week about “disconnecting”, so the technological side of your legacy should only be a small piece in “the dash.”
We all have different strategies and vehicles to leaving a legacy. We here at Wright Equipment are using the vehicle of fitness equipment to leave our legacy. The owners of this company are all about impacting as many people as possible and leaving a legacy of excellence for the next generation to pick up and run with! I’ve gone to their grandkids’ basketball games, I’ve slept under their roof, I’ve watched football in their living room… these guys are the real deal and it shines through in how Wright does business! Leaving a legacy is about using your influence to invest in others.
How are you using your influence? “Matt, no one is watching me… nobody cares what I think.” No matter how insignificant you may feel, someone is watching you. You are influencing someone right this second! How are you living your dash? No one knows their expiration date… but when it does expire, what are you leaving behind? Maybe today is the day you need to reevaluate how you're living your dash. Don’t wait… life is short my friends. Love each other and leave a legacy worth following!