What is the one thing you want people to remember about you when you’re gone? This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot this week. For me, the idea of leaving a legacy has been rooted in thinking about the new life joining our family in July. For many others, the passing of Kobe Bryant has given all of us a reason to pause and consider the reason we’re all here.
If you don’t know, Kobe was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, was considered the NBA’s League MVP in 2008, and also had eighteen All-Star selections to his name. For an entire generation of basketball, he was their icon. He had a distinct, competitive nature to his personality and his approach to basketball, but a deep, passionate love for his family, as well.
What Michael Jordan was to kids of the 90s, Kobe Bryant was to kids of the 2000’s. And so, when news broke Sunday afternoon of his tragic death in a helicopter accident, along with the news of multiple others involved who died unexpectedly, the entire nation stopped to reflect on his life.
One of the interesting trends I’ve seen in light of this tragedy has been how unanimously people have talked about Kobe making a difference. From basketball teams honoring him in games throughout the week, all the way up to talks of redoing the NBA logo in his likeness. It would be wrong to argue the things he accomplished are pointless- because they’re not. People agree that he really has left a legacy.
I think this points to a desire wired deep within us to live our lives for something greater. All of us what to know that we’re making a difference. All of us want to know that our lives mean something. All of us are searching for that answer.
In Ecclesiastes 3:11, it says that God has “put eternity into the hearts of man.” We’re all searching for the answer to some of life’s hardest questions, but we don’t realize that the answer to these questions is found in the one who made us. How can we know that we’re making a difference?
It’s in glorifying God and enjoying Him forever that we find the means by which we can leave a legacy. This legacy isn’t always marked by fame, but instead by faithfulness. It’s about training our kids up in the knowledge of God, loving those around us, and living a life seeking to honor God in all the decisions we make. It’s about asking for forgiveness when we mess up, encouraging our brothers and sisters in the faith, and inviting others to be reconciled to God.
But it’s also in the quiet mornings in the Word of God and in prayer, in the listening ear we offer a friend in the tough times, and in the wisdom we hope to share from a verse that has impacted our lives. In all of these moments of steady faithfulness we find what our hearts are searching for: satisfaction for the desire God has placed within us all. A desire shown clearly this week in the legacy left behind by a legend.