Monday, October 8, 2012

What's Your Legacy?

There are so many things I have wanted to blog about, and I have started a couple of other posts, but haven't finished them yet...I guess that was a fairly obvious statement!  But I have wanted to write about this for a couple of weeks, so on this beautiful, restful Columbus Day, I'm finally taking a moment to.  Of course with both of my parents in heaven now, and with the passing of mom almost 2 months ago, this is on my mind.  I hope and pray my life can be a testimony of my wonderful parents.  They were simply amazing!!

A couple of weeks ago a local pastor, Pastor Nelson, came to speak to our kids for chapel.  He talked about spankings, and more specifically the worst spanking he had to endure.  He mentioned that there were many times in his childhood when he would hear those dreaded words from his mom, "wait 'til your father gets home".  He said his dad would then take him in the back room and talk to him, teach him about what he had done wrong, then spank him for what he had done. He said his dad always tried to teach them something, it wasn't just about the punishment.  One day when he was a young boy he was heading to vacation bible school with his brother and a couple of friends.  On their way, they saw a car on the side of the road with an engine fire.  They watched for a little while, because as he said, what boy would not find that fascinating!  After watching for a little while they headed on to the church.  On their way back home, they saw the car was still there, but the fire had been put out, so they decided to have some fun, chucking stones at the car.  They kept doing that for a while, and then the young Pastor Nelson decided that the little stones weren't doing enough, so he chose to pick up a big rock and chuck it at the car.  It got the desired effect because it broke one of the windows of the car.  The boys didn't know it, but a neighbor of theirs was watching through the blinds and saw what they were doing and called the police.  After the window broke, they decided to head home.  A little after they got home the police came to the house and walked up to his brother and friend who were outside, he asked them if they broke the car window and they both said no.  The friend asked if the police wanted to know who did throw the rock and told on the young Pastor Nelson, who was inside with his mom.  The police went to the door and told his mom what he had done.  He said after the police officer left he heard those dreaded words, "wait 'til your father gets home".  He and his brother had to spend the rest of the day in the house worrying about when their dad got home.  When he did and talked to their mother, he told the boys to head to the back room.  They waited for him and when he came in he had two belts in his hand, which made the boys really nervous, wondering what he was going to do.  He told the boys that what they did was wrong, they had destroyed someone else's property, something that did not belong to them.  He told them they deserved to be strongly punished for that.  It was something that was very wrong, and they really deserved to be spanked.  Then what Pastor Nelson said next shocked me and brought quick tears to my eyes.  He said that after his dad told them that, he handed each of them a belt and told them that he was going to take that spanking for them.  He told them to use the belts to spank him and his 6 foot tall dad got down on his knees and waited for them to hit him.  This pastor said he couldn't do it, he just cried, but his dad told him to hit give him the spanking, he was taking it for them.  Pastor Nelson said he just kept crying, and finally his dad got up and hugged both boys.  Then he explained to them that that is exactly what Jesus did for all of us on the cross.  What an amazing amazing lesson!  He said that his dad had, I think 4 or 5 kids, and they were all saved and all serving the Lord, and all 28 of his grandchildren are also saved.  What a great legacy he left!  He also mentioned that his dad grew up with a father that was a heavy drinker, he eventually left the family and his dad ended up just being raised by his mother.  His dad could have used the excuse that he didn't have the greatest childhood, but he didn't let that keep him from doing the right thing, especially by his children.  Then Pastor Nelson told the students that their parents have started the path for them to follow, it's already been patted/laid down, and they just need to follow.  What a wonderful lesson for the students to think about the legacy their parents have left for them to follow!  What a wonderful lesson for all of us!  What legacy did our parents leave for us to follow?  What legacy will we leave for those coming behind us?
Lord, thank you for the amazing parents you gave me!  Thank you for the legacy they left behind them, that so many others are blessed from.  Thank you for the wonderful things they taught me.  Help me to think about what I am leaving behind for others.  Though I don't have children of my own to follow behind me, you have given me the wonderful job of teaching.  Help me to make a difference to my students, to share you with them, to show them and teach them love and trust and faith in you.