Hello again church,
Many of you know that one of my favorite television programs is “Jeopardy!” It shouldn’t be a surprise that Trivial Pursuit is also my favorite board game. In addition to enjoying about any quiz show, what makes “Jeopardy!” so special in my heart is its host, G. Alexander Trebek. For more than three decades he had an open invitation into the Reynolds’ home five nights per week, for about thirty minutes at a time. (We never watched on Wednesdays due to church activities, but my Dad and I were excited with the advent of the d.v.r. as it allowed us to record all episodes and “binge watch” them later!) Alex passed back in December after publically carrying out a valiant fight against cancer. His final episode aired January 8. Folks have made many a comment about what a great guy he was, but all “Jeopardy!” fans know that he refused to be called ‘the star of the show’ instead always insisting that he be introduced as ‘the host of the show’. I believe this is a symbol of his own humility, always wanting the spot light to be shined on others. He worked hard through a number of charitable organizations to instill in school children a love of learning. Though he was a sinner in need of a Savior – and some of his sins were rather public – I do believe that he was a man of faith. From what I have read about him, I understand him to have placed his faith upon the God of the bible, and I very much hope that he is in heaven even now.
The afternoon of Wednesday, January 6, was really exciting for me! While the rest of our country watched a great stain on the legacy of our own liberty, I had the special privilege of attending a virtual retirement ceremony for my uncle, an event that I would have never been able to attend on an Air Force base in Ohio. He retired from civil service through the Department of Defense after working for 19 years as the commandant of a security cooperation institute. He accomplished a great deal over the course of his civilian career (after accomplishing a pretty significant amount during his military career), but during his retirement ceremony, the presenters were quick to gloss over the multitude of things he had done. Instead, they placed emphasis upon the number of people he has influenced, and the various personal ways he had made such an impact in them. In addition to being so proud of the first Dr. Reynolds in our family, and in addition to the excitement Dad and I share that we’ll get to see much more of him in the years to come, it caused me to pause and consider what kind of impact I have. I have thought much in recent days what it means to leave a legacy.
Whether as a military collaboration expert, or a game show host, or a President, or teacher, or plumber, or bean counter, or tobacco farmer, or mother, or grandfather, or friend, or even pastor, we all leave a legacy. Some are good; others are quite checkered or even poor. Only time will tell, but I have been challenged by these thoughts. In a career field of events, and processes, and accomplishing feats, my uncle will hopefully be known more for his impact on people. How much more should a pastor be remembered for impact on people? I am instilling into whom a love of what? Matthew 6 helps us ponder these questions in verse 20 and again in verse 33. As disciples of Jesus, let’s think about our own legacy. Let’s reflect upon the Great Commandment, and the Great Commission, and let’s passionately practice obedient faithfulness, working to advance the Kingdom of God!
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause; I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame; I’d rather be true to His holy name!