Excavation work has begun on the homestead—in preparation for rebuilding my ancestors’ home—and I can’t help but reflect on this legacy which I have inherited. Not just a legacy of my ancestors who lived on this particular piece of land in Oklahoma. But also of those who led the way while also walking different paths. I was once told that my Grandfather, while looking for land on which to move his family, walked to the top of the hill of this homestead, took a good look all around, and then firmly stated to my Grandmother without hesitation, “This is it. THIS is where we are going to live.” And so it came to be. He carried on with a legacy which he himself inherited. That is, a legacy to endure through anything life threw at him (in his case, physical and financial hardships) while never losing faith in God. And to cherish and care for land that a gracious God has provided. A lifetime legacy of hard work, which he instilled in my father.
A definition of the word legacy, in the sense I am using here, is: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. When I think of legacy, my first thoughts are not of creating a legacy for myself. But rather, it is preserving and handing down—to my children and to others around me—honorable legacies left by those before me whether it be gifts given or lessons learned. Yet, at the same time, it means taking these legacies and making them better. Unfortunately, it seems so often nowadays that we are forgetting these handed-down legacies rather than preserving them. Or worse yet, we are intentionally tossing them away.
But as for me, I pray that all who enter this land which has been handed down to me will feel God’s presence here. Steve and I have fought hard to keep it in the family and to improve upon the land, and we sincerely hope that what we are doing is pleasing in God’s eyes. For what we truly strive to be is more like Apostle Paul—to fight the good fight for the Lord Jesus Christ. And to one day hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We still have a lot of work to do in that area.
I had an inheritance from my father, it was the moon and the sun. And though I roam all over the world, the spending of it’s never done.
~ Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls