Work at leaving a good legacy

Published 6:03am Sunday, August 24, 2014

By Dr. James Troglen

Legacy, not a word you hear mentioned a great deal anymore. It seems a regal, royal word doesn’t it – legacy! Yet, it is a needed word today.

When I grew up we only had three channels of television, no tablets or computers, no video games to keep us occupied. I am not complaining and I might add I have all of those now and enjoy them immensely.

But, as a child and adolescent, I grew up doing more and being occupied less. Does that make sense to you?

I followed my grandfather around the farm, my grandmother around the kitchen and garden and my uncles on hunting trails. As we walked, worked and hunted I was building a legacy from their stories and what we did together.

I still know how to kill, scald, scrape and cut up a hog. I can render lard and pickle just about anything that will be still long enough.

I am not reminiscing, I am saying my family built a legacy in me that is still with me. It doesn’t need upgrading, never falls behind technology and has helped me in many life decisions (betcha’ Halo can’t do that!).

We as a people need to build a legacy within our children and grandchildren that comes from doing things with them. At First Baptist this year we are going to stress, among other things, the building of a legacy in our families.

We want dads, moms, poppas and mimis to leave something behind that will last. Memories of things we do and learn from each other are a part of that. You can learn and teach responsibility, family history even humor.

My uncle who served in WWII (Europe) told me when he once went to the VA Hospital there was a man there with a very heavy accent seeking help. Since he was a WWII vet the lady sent him on up to a VA doctor.

As typical with the VA my uncle was still waiting for service when the man came back down with a note from the doctor that said, “Right war, wrong side.” We both laughed over it and he told me many stories about his experiences in WWII.

An aunt had lived in California and shared why she left the state (at least her version). She said she was flabbergasted when a friend out there had told her that California was ranked 47 in a list of the nations’ smartest states.

“Can you believe that?” her friend fumed. “We’re 47 out of 52.” My aunt would laugh as she and I both knew the story to be a joke.

I guess I get my sense of humor from my family – a legacy they left me. What legacy do you have? What did your grandparents, parents or other family members leave you to hold onto, to help you find yourself, to help you cope with life?

What happened to them that has helped you? What event defined them and helped you see the world in a different light? What joy did you hang onto that still thrills you to this day?

We all have a legacy, good or bad. Let’s work at leaving a good one.

First Baptist is going to work toward it. Focus on the family is helping us with videos, simulcasts and  material for private use. We are helping by giving everyone a family night one Sunday night each month to build a legacy.

We will be sharing those legacies during services. It isn’t our major emphasis but it is an emphasis we see as important this year.

You will have to excuse me I have a strong yen for some bacon right now.


Dr. James Troglen is pastor of First Baptist Church of Wetumpka.

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