Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handsbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight, surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Psalm 39:4-5
What do you think of when you hear the names Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler? Both of these individuals have something in common: a well-known legacy. Lincoln left a memorable, noteworthy legacy: he guided our nation through the Civil War, which ended slavery in the states. Hitler left a notorious legacy of horror through the murder of millions in the Holocaust. Both will forever be remembered, for better or for worse. Their actions, whether noble or terrible, left them with a legacy.
Out of all the people who’ve ever lived and whoever will live, a scant few will make it into the footnotes of history much less the pages of history (and rare is the person who reads footnotes). Chances are, most of us won’t make it into the footnotes of history when we die. When we die, all but a few hundred at best will know we are gone. The rest of the 6.5 billion + will never know we existed.
Yet, that doesn’t prevent us from at least wanting to make some kind of mark on the world.
We want to leave some kind of legacy that goes beyond a sum of money handed down to a few heirs, who’ll probably blow it anyway.
We want to be remembered by someone for something.