Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Numbers 90:12
It wouldn’t cut soft butter today but back then it was cutting edge. I’m a tech guy. I loved the newest and greatest technology. When a new something comes out, if I’m not careful, I am on my way to grab one. Of course, the funny part is it usually ends up sitting around somewhere. Even my newest iPhone is mad because of the hours it sits on the counter—unloved and unattended. Frequently I have to apologize for not returning a call or not answering a text…not because I’m ignoring a person—I’m ignoring my phone.
This love affair with tech began when I was a kid. When it came time for Christmas, I would browse the Sears catalogue and dream of the cool gifts that might come my way. And somehow, Momma and Daddy, with a little help from Santa, would pull it off. Of course, sometimes they surprised me. It would have been Christmas of, oh, 1966 and I received something totally unexpected and totally cool. It was a small, battery powered, portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. This was before eight-tracks, before cassettes…before anything. The size of large book, it gave me the ability to record something and play that something back.
One time I took my recorder to my grandparent’s house in Gainesville, Florida. My grandfather (there was no “Papa” with him) was talking with my Daddy and was even telling a joke. I decided to start the recorder and record what they were saying. Sure enough it worked and later, I played the tape for everyone, and we all marveled at the ability for something so small to do that. But here is the amazing part. Somewhere in my stuff, is a small reel of tape and on that tape is my grandfather and my Daddy’s voices…probably one of the few recordings to exist. Even though they are gone…their voices live on.
Their.Voices.Live.On. Think about that for just a moment. Both of these men who influenced me so much have long since passed away. But through technology their voices can still be heard. Oh, I know it is not a big deal now, but back then…it was so unusual and that makes the recording valuable. They are, if you will, speaking from the grave.
In one of those moments of clarity, I recently realized that I too, one day, will speak from the grave. My life, my actions, my priorities, my values, sermons I have preached, and stories I have written, will all be left behind and all will speak. And I wonder…what will they say of me and what will they say of who I was? When my great grandchildren hear the stories of their great Papa, will those stories be stories worthy to share? Will the words encourage them to live right and do right, or leave them scratching their head like a batter thrown a good curve ball on a hot Saturday afternoon? We should all hope to leave a story that is worth telling…one that brings some light and laughter into their world.
There is a verse I keep coming back to time and again. Moses wrote it thousands of years ago and yet it is as fresh as today’s news. He asked God to help him number his days that he could gain a wise heart. He wasn’t asking for his math to be accurate when he counted birthdays. No, he was asking that he be wise enough to make the most, the very most, of every single day.
Legacy. It is a great word, and we are all leaving one. The only question is, “What kind will it be?” That is up to us. Five days a week I write a story but in reality…I write one everyday…and so do you. Let’s be sure to write one worth telling. Fortunately, there is a publisher who is all about helping us and if we are Jesus followers, we call Him Dearest Daddy. He is more than willing to help us write a best seller…after all, that’s just one more thing He does. He’s got that too. Bro. Dewayne