At the end of the day, with all that you have accomplished (a home, houses, cars, family, toys of various sort, etc.), what is the point of having them? You might reply the point is for your personal enjoyment. Very well, after personal enjoyment has run its course (for all things of this sort do), then what?

Not too long ago I watched a program on car collecting, not just automobiles, but vehicles that are very rare and fully restored, cars of the higher-end sort. One wealthy man had, if I recall correctly, upwards of 200! He had to build a place to store them. He lined up his cars in such a way that an onlooker could see the alignment and be nothing but impressed. In a light-hearted way, he commented to an interviewer than he and all others like him could not do this unless they were crazy. He did not explain, but surely it had to do with the outlay of money; the sheer high-cost expense of the exotic hobby to gather these toys has to be incredible.

Going back to the question asked earlier—what then? Perhaps a forthcoming reply would be, “I am going to leave it for my children.” Commendable, I suppose, but what good does that do for them, or for you? To probe this a little further, what if they do not regard the same hobby or interest at the same level? Is this what one wants to be known for? On the other hand, even if they did – is this the desired legacy? If this is one’s legacy, then the legacy deteriorates with the rust accrued. That which was gained only breaks-down as the years unfold.

One does not have to be wealthy like the above describes to have the point apply to him or her who is poor. “Then someone from the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ He then told them a parable: ‘The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, so he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!” ‘But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21, NET)

When you are gone, the memory of you will fade. To a lesser degree in your family, perhaps, but it, too, will become dimmer. This is normal; never extinguished, but dimmer. What legacy do you want to leave behind? What legacy have you planned to leave behind? Leave behind a legacy that contributes to their spiritual education, an education that prepares one to meet God. RT

Reprint from January 2017