FRAMING OUR LEGACY

THREE GENERATIONS. WHAT SORT OF LEGACY IS FORMING HERE? Pictures from your past frame the stories of your legacy. Heritage sets the course for the future; yours and the children of your legacy.

I just made that up. I like it. I may quote myself in my book (yeah, that one still being written). Came to me while still waking this morning. I was smiling over the last week’s dramatic events with visiting son-in-law and grandson engineered for his upcoming Rite of Passage.

I tell you that because it has been for me a life-truth only recently realized. Among other applications of this reality, is my own deep gratitude to my Lord God and Savior for a life full of positive stories out of The Father’s guidance. Few men—read that to include you who are fathers—have a lifelong story of walking steadfastly in faith. I am fully aware of how unique and privileged this is.

There’s a point to this. Uncommon grace must not be taken for granted. That also means such grace from On High must, really must, be passed along. LET US TELL YOU MORE

Whenever and however it was that God stepped into your life with personal salvation and the Holy Spirit’s internal guidance, the “real story,” the one written for your life by God Himself, must begin and must be passed on into the future by on the spiritual DNA of your children and your grandchildren.

Here’s the interesting thing about being a grandfather in a blog world mostly viewed by young fathers: I see the life of parenting in the rear view mirror. And you know how it is in those skinny little mirrors; you see what you left behind. And, if you get just the right angle, you see yourself as you review the past.

Let me lay on one more relevant truth. Once a father, always a father. It’s an assignment from God that is never rescinded. Never mind that it is one seldom recognized. It seems in our culture, we old guys tend to retire from engaged fathering when we retire from our jobs. That’s just wrong.

Here’s how I tie this together. I want you to think about it.

In this “passage week,” Taylor (the kid in the spotlight), Matt, and I just happened to spend two of its days in the same beach area where I lived out my own childhood. What a great way to look in the mirror to review my heritage and pay it forward to the legacy of my heart.

Can you picture it? All three of us manned the rail of the boat returning up the coast after a day of deep sea fishing as the grandfather, out of distant memories prompted by the coastline's landscape, recalls snippets of life where he first found his faith to be real. The coastline sparked stories; things I did, experiences I had, even first stages of discovering the wonders of God’s personal guidance. “Oh, really, Popi?” Comments to that affect showed Taylor was listening. It also tempered my tendency to exaggerate just a bit.

Taylor saw how his dad and I connected as trusted comrades,saw how we prayed often and spontaneously, saw how we dealt with a crisis like a lost key (for a big Freightliner tractor we were driving and sleeping in isn’t handled by the local locksmith), saw how we treated our meal servers, saw (and heard) how we analyzed the behaviors of California city folk that were strange to a country boy. That sorta stuff.

Now may I say it simply with these stories attached? THEY DO WHAT THEY SEE! Period. Exclamation.

Here’s the thing about intentional shaping of legacy; it can’t be just told. It has to be lived. You may not think this is the place to end this post. It is actually the place for you to begin. DAD, BE EAGER TO LIVE A LIFE WORTH FOLLOWING, WORTH EMULATING. Then take the initiative. Make a plan to pass on that life. If it's not worthy, plan to make it so. And did I say GRAND DAD? We’ll you are or will be…sooner than you think.

Gary (www.gendads.com reports the events of the passage week with Taylor)