THE SOLDIER’S LEGACY
A soldier should be one of the most respected people in any country because they have chosen to make a difference by taking on the hardest task of all---defending our country and risking their lives to do just that. And most of the time the man wearing the fatigues and carrying the rifle is just a young man or woman somewhere around the age of twenty. Young but yet mature enough to take on hard training and long hours to learn the strategies of fighting in a conflict between two countries or possibly more.
For the US the past few years have been marred with wars like the Viet Nam offensive, the Korean War, and the present war in Iraq. Each war had a cause and effect and the people who served had a specific goal to achieve. The devastation of World War II probably caused the most damage to nations across the continents and statistics show that over 70 million people were killed in that war. For the men and women who fought in World War II life is almost over since they are in the 80’s or 90’s or sadly enough they have already passed on.. The veterans of that time period are honored with the World War II Memorial and each year new names are added to the list.
The whole concept of war is not pleasant and I know many people try to avoid war at all costs My own sons chose another career rather than the military but that does not mean that I don't have the highest regard for the young men and women who put their lives on the front each day. Men who have chosen to walk away from the luxuries and comfortable lifestyles that I enjoy here.
The memories of those conflicts will have to be retold through history books or through the stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next. For every soldier it is a legacy that will be passed on to their own children. Children need to know some of the struggles that their parents and grandparents endured. It is important to be able to connect the past achievements with life today. For definitely the past influences the lives of others living today.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
To me, the most important inheritance that we can leave for others is our Christian testimony. We should strive to walk closely to the Lord and show by example how the Lord can and will bless us in life. In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, Christ tells us the parable of a young man who became impatient with his father and wanted to receive his inheritance immediately. He left home and squandered his inheritance. When he finally realized what he had lost, he found his way back to his father and claimed his place within the family. He may have lost all his money but he still had the love and blessing of his father.
Our Christian inheritance is one that goes way beyond the reaches of this physical world. In Psalm 37:18 “The Lord knows the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be forever.” In Acts 20:32 Paul reminds Christians from the early church that he [Peter] will “commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified”. Those who follow God and live righteously according to His principles have an inheritance reserved only them.
That inheritance is special and receiving it requires accepting God as an integral part of our lives. In I Peter 1:3-4 the Scriptures tell us “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible”.
My inheritance is one that is both in the present and in the future. It is an inheritance that cannot be taken away. I have taken a wonderful journey with my Dad through his years in the service yet that is his legacy. I need to look to myself and search deep within to see what important items I can leave behind for my own children. My legacy from Christ and the faith that He has given me is the most important and the best possible heritage that I can pass on to my children and grandchildren.
In the very last book of the Bible, He promises that “He who overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be His God and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7). Are you leaving behind a legacy for your children and future generations that will be eternal? What kind of legacy will your children have from you that they can pass on to others?