We will be remembered best not by what we have taken from life, but by what we have given to life. This is the legacy of a life well lived. This is the legacy that John Lewis leaves behind. It would be wonderful if, when we pen the last sentence on our life stories, we could look back and know we gave more than we took.
Before I retired I used to drive by an old cemetery high on a hill over looking Wheeling, W.Va. One day I stopped in to take a look. It was a very old cemetery overgrown with weeds. A few mausoleums were caved in and many of the tombstones were leaning or toppled over. Most of the names and dates on the tombstones were weathered away. It was obvious that this cemetery was not cared for because those who interred their loved ones there had long since passed on. As I stood there in this place filled with forgotten memories I was reminded of the ffith stanza in a hymn by Isaac Watts, “Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all who breathe away, they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.”
All of us have something in common with the folks whose remains lie in this old cemetery filled with forgotten memories. We will fly away forgotten in the wind but our life stories will be recorded in the book of life remembered by the One who breathed life into us. When we breathe our last and hand the scroll back pray that the stories within will include more of what we gave to life than what we took.