I’m a Kevin Costner fan… so when I heard (albeit belatedly) about his most recent venture, a TV series called, “Yellowstone,” I wanted to give it a shot. (You can get a more thorough synopsis of Yellowstone HERE if you’re interested.) In a nutshell, Costner plays the patriarch, John Dutton, the head of a ranching family in Montana, & much of the show is centered around his attempts to keep the family ranch in the family… for his kids, grandkids, & beyond. There’s lots of drama, & many threats to the Dutton’s “Yellowstone Ranch.” :)
Anyway, a couple weeks ago theBean & I were watching a particularly grueling episode where Costner’s character is confronted by the reality that his adult kids lives’ are a mess, he’s only got 1 grandkid (with no more on the way,) & all his hard work (blood, sweat, tears, lawless deeds, etc) that he poured into the Yellowstone over the previous decades might be for naught. He held his head in his hands in despair & loudly declared repeatedly (to no one in particular,) “Its ALL been for nothing. I’m going to lose it ALL.”
Ever since we watched that episode, I have been thinking about that moment & the anguish, sadness, & devastation he felt at the thought that the legacy (the family property, the history, the lifestyle, the traditions) he was hoping to leave for his family would be lost, stolen, &/or taken by greedy, money-grubbing bad guys (as opposed to the kind of bad guys that the Duttons are. But I digress.)
TheBean & I talked a bit about legacies & the (I believe ‘God-given) desire to leave one for the next generations, reflecting a bit on our own context. We’re not rich (but we’re blessed, thank you Jesus!) & there’s really no mountain of stuff, no huge collection of things, no 50,000 acres of land that we’re banking on leaving to our kids & grandkids that will make them wealthy in cash money.
But we are leaving a legacy.
Really, we all do; to me, it’s that which remains after we’re gone. It’s our ethos, our way of life. It’s the priorities & values we lived by. It’s the things we focused on as the most important. It’s our life stories, & how we treated people & made them feel. It’s the essence of WHAT, & WHO, & HOW we were. It’s our character & integrity, & it leaves a mark, for good or for bad, for our kids & grandkids. It’s part of the substance that plays a role in shaping what kind of humans they become, & definitely influences what they live out & what they will eventually pass on to their own kids & grandkids.
Hopefully, theBean & I have many years left together to continue adding to the story of us, that we can directly (& indirectly) shape those coming after us. I want my kids & grandkids, & their kids (etc….) to know & be known by Jesus. I want them to be men & women of faith & character, people that are the “helpers” in a world that so desperately needs them. I want them to be able to look at my/our example & learn from the mistakes & build on the successes (aka, “the stuff that lasts & really matters.”)
I’m thankful because I am already seeing traits, habits, & GOOD STUFF that has been passed down to & through my kids… & I am proud. And I pray that God continues to build on this & that He would complete the works in them (& in their kids & grandkids & so on) that He has begun.
God’s work In Christ, in & through our lives, is NEVER a waste of time, it is NEVER for nothing. Thank you Jesus for that.