A Legacy of Life
This sermon was written and delivered by Tommy Cash.
I want to talk about legacy. I’m a Cash. I am the youngest of four, all boys. Growing up, I was charismatic and quick–witted. I was constantly convincing people, sometimes against their better judgement, to follow me. This often led to very exciting things, like setting fireworks off in the toilets (destructive but extremely satisfying results), scaling the walls and running the roofs of school building, exploring the empty fields and creeks of a few neighborhoods, setting up and using a hidden paintball course in the woods behind a public park, but there were also more than a few fist fights and some other choices that made life changing impacts on a few people.
From as long as I remember, my dad would always tell us about our family, how we are a reflection of him, and how we were born, raised, and being taught to be Cashes and that was important. He told us about our legacy and how important it is when we interacted with others. I thought my interactions were exciting and mischievous.
My dad saw carelessness and destruction – neither of which were the kind of legacy he had in mind (for him or for me).
He used a shocking but powerful metaphor that still makes me cringe today. Convinced, perhaps begrudgingly, that physical discipline had run its course, he made his concern clear:
“What kind of legacy do you want to leave son? Because you are leaving dead bodies everywhere you go.”
That accusation cut deep into my soul. I was outraged, and appalled, but ultimately I had no words to describe how much it hurt me. My dad capitalized on my rare silence, knowing that he had finally begun to make me think about my actions. This was one of my most significant struggles throughout high school.
Despite the difficulty of my dad’s warning, the fact is I was leaving a legacy. My dad was telling me that that which I often whitewashed, or gave little thought to at all -my legacy- was actually marked by destruction and even brought death to others. We, all of us are leaving a legacy. What about those around us who leave their legacies a hot temper or a shopping addiction. What about good legacies? Hard work, kindness, affection, or charity. Whether we like it or not, we all leave a mark… even if it is not a good mark.
We can choose our own legacy in this world. We can choose to leave a legacy of life, not death.