July 22 “The greatest use we can make of our life is to spend it on something that outlasts it.” (Cross Roads, The Book)
Architects and builders erect edifices that last for generations. Authors and poets write works that transcend the ages. They, and a few other professions have the opportunity to create something for the ages as part of their jobs. For most of the rest of us it comes down to something else, our children.
This morning I am sitting in my camper with my two sons and another friend. We are on a trip to a NASCAR race for Wednesday night. As I sit here and write I am enjoying the banter of young adult men as they go through their morning rituals of hair combing, tooth brushing and generally becoming right with the new day.
As I listen to this, and read this quote, all I can think about is that my lasting contribution to the world will be my four children. My sons and daughters will lie on well beyond my time here. What my wife and I have instilled in them will live long after us in their generation and generations to follow.
I know this because I am aware of how my mother, and my other ancestors have shaped my life and influenced who I am today. I am not a duplicate of her, or any one of them, just as my children are not of my wife and I. But their values, their quirks, their senses of humor, their likes and dislikes are all influenced by what we have taught them, both intentionally and just with our examples.
For the vast majority of us, that is our opportunity to make the greatest use of our lives, by helping to shape the lives of some in the next generation. Today I am inspired by that special opportunity.