Initially I was thinking the first story on my shinny new web site should be something profound and amazing. Then I downgraded my expectations. Perhaps just a funny story would be good. You know, start slowly and build. Or perhaps something from scripture. You can’t go wrong there. I settled history!?
Over the last several years (getting to retirement age), I’ve been considering the concept of legacy. Having been a software engineer for over 35 years, one of things I realized is that whatever I do developing software is obsolete within 5 years. Oh, the code may stay around a bit longer, but it’s obsolete. I’m sure it falls in the “80/20 or 90/10” rule. The concepts will last longer, but even they fade into the fog of history in a relatively short time.
Software has been a wonderful career and has provided for me and my family. But it really doesn’t last in the long run. It’s not like building a structure that you expect to last 100s of years or more. It wouldn’t take much for most of the digital world to be lost. Just think of all of the pictures people take and then lose when their accounts expire or their phone dies.
Now that I’m retired, within 5 years my skills will be obsolete. The industry will move on, my company will move on, and my co-workers will hopefully have fond remembrances of working together.
So where do you find a legacy? It’s the same place it’s always been. It’s in your family, friends, students and the lives you’ve touched.
If you leave a good legacy, they will tell stories about growing up around you and the time you spent together. They will repeat the same phrases to their children that you told to them and they will remember the lessons you taught them. They will remember the help and kind words that you gave out.
If you leave a horrible legacy, they will remember the shouting and angry words. They will remember the drunk that they avoided and the abuse you dished out. They will pass the horrible legacy on to others.
But even these memories will not last. Think of all of the Christians that taught their children and their children’s children about Jesus. That is a great legacy. That is a worthy legacy. Their names are unknown. Their stories are not written anywhere. But we are part of that great legacy by teaching future generations about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We are a part of the great story of God and his creation.
Take a look at the book “Epic” by John Eldredge. It’s a wonderful read.
I realized many years ago that I will not be famous. Not that I really desired to be. My legacy is not tied to my job, but tied to those around me.