Posted by: Mike Willoughby | December 7, 2010

Thinking of legacy…

I’m writing this article on the 6th of December which is my Grandfather Craig’s birthday.  He would be 92 years old today if he were still with us.  However, I am very blessed to still have my Grandmother Craig still in my life – slowing down physically but still sharp as a tack mentally and strong as ever spiritually. 

I also just recently finished reading Max Lucado’s latest book, Outlive Your Life which I received as a birthday present one of my best friends, Richard Beasley (by the way, I heartily recommend the book).  Read Max’s words from the inside jacket of the book:

“We are common folk.  We sit in the bleachers, eat at diners, change diapers, and wear our favorite team’s ball cap.  Fans don’t wave when we pass.  Servants don’t drive our cars; butlers don’t open our doors or draw our baths.  Doormen don’t greet us, and security doesn’t protect us.  We are regular folks.”

“And we wonder: Does God use people like us?”

“He did.  God stamped the first-century society with swaybacks, not thoroughbreds.  Before Jesus came along, the disciples were loading trucks, coaching soccer, and selling Slurpee drinks at the convenience store.  Their collars were blue, and their hands were calloused, and there is no evidence that Jesus chose them because they were smarter or nicer than the guy next door.  The one thing they had going for them was a willingness to take a step when Jesus said, ‘Follow me.’”

“Are you more dinghy than cruise ship?  More stand-in than movie star?  More blue jeans than blue blood?  Congratulations.  God changes the world with folks like you.”

I heard some similar words this Sunday from our preacher at McDermott Rd.  James asked us:

“How many of you sitting in the pews are thinking, There is no way God could use me.  I don’t come from the right background, my past prevents it, my education is limited, my family is dysfunctional, I am too young, I am too old…  How could God use someone like me?  We must realize that what concerns us does not concern Him.  God is looking for desire, heart, perspective and trust.  Are you available?”

So what do the words of Max Lucado and James Waugh have to do with Grandpa’s birthday?  All these things come together to make me think about legacy.  Whenever I think of my Grandparents, I naturally think about legacy.  Max’s book is about legacy and James’ comments on Sunday and his opening scripture reference also speak to legacy:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6

My Grandpa Craig was the kind of folk that Max describes in his quote.  He was a simple everyday farmer making a simple life on the plains of Nebraska.  He was not overly educated, not overly brilliant and not overly wealthy.  But Grandpa and Grandma did answer Jesus’ call to follow!  They were available!  God changes the world with people like Grandma and Grandpa Craig!

If you want to see a physical place where my grandparents’ money is at work, you would have to visit the small town Church of Christ in Sidney Nebraska.  They helped build the small building with their contributions.  Other than that, there are no buildings, monuments or scholarship funds with their names attached.

Grandpa and Grandma were never too concerned about money, but they were always concerned about people.  Grandpa was an elder in the Sidney church and Grandma was a hard-working elder’s wife.  They helped build a church which as we all know is much more than a building!  They also built a strong family with a commitment to faith.  Their two kids and their four grandkids all have received a rich heritage from them and we all understand the expectation they have for us to follow in the path they have paved and outlive our lives too.  All I have to do is look at the picture above with Grandpa and Lyndon to see that expectation.  Life outlived across four generations – that was his dream!

Almost 17 years ago, Wayne Craig’s work was brought to completion by the same God that began that work within him and now he is part of that great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1.  I imagine he is even now cheering us on to finish strong and outlive our lives just as he did.

Happy birthday, Grandpa and thank you for outliving your life!

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!

Previous Intersections Articles

Ready, set, shop? I Thank God for you Here am I…

Responses

  1. Thank You Michael for a wonderful article and reminder of just how much love for life Grandpa had. He was a blessing to all he came in contact with but most importantly to his family. Happy Birthday Grandpa!

  2. Awesome reminder of one who outlived his life! Great PIC with Lyndon, too :)!


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