As I researched what I could find on August, the first thing my eyes went to was “National Root Beer Float Day” on the 6th. That was due to the fact that Root Beer has always been a favorite beverage of my bride. However it was another title that made me stop and mull it over. Before getting to that, I want to share a little history with you. Years ago, a friend by the name of Terry Figgins preached a sermon in which he pointed out that the typical headstone had a birth date and a date that let people know when that person had left this earth. Terry said that those two dates were connected by a dash and that dash represented an entire span of life. In that dash a person had lived a life, touched the lives of others, often had children, worked in a career, and was forever engrained in the memory of others. He went on to say, “That dash is the legacy of that person.” Terry then challenged us to ponder what our legacy would be. Terry was a dedicated servant of God who together with his wife raised a son who in turn became a dedicated servant of God. Terry and his wife also had a daughter but I only met her once. I did, however, work with his son so I interacted with the legacy Terry left after he went to be with the Lord. Terry’s challenge in that sermon that I heard at least sixteen years ago has remained lodged in my life.
I want to share another name with you and wonder if any history buffs will recognize it. It is the name Philip Johnston. Philip Johnston was a WWI vet too old to enlist to fight in WWII. In 1942 things were not going well for the U.S. or its allies. Our Pacific fleet had been decimated; France had fallen to the Nazis; and England was suffering from almost nightly bombings. To make things worse on the Pacific front, the Japanese were highly successful at breaking any code our military used to communicate plans on operations. Often those communications compromised the operation before it even got off the ground. In stepped Philip Johnston. Philip was the son of Protestant missionaries and had grown up on the Navajo reservation. The concept of a military code in the Navajo language came to his mind and he pitched the idea to the Marine Corps. Over the course of some months, the plan moved forward to the point of bilingual Navajo young men being recruited, trained as Marines and assigned to communications in the Pacific. The contribution of the Navajo Code Talkers is impossible to measure. Their efforts were a monumental contribution to the success of American forces in the Pacific. Both Philip Johnston and the Navajo Code talkers left a legacy that is engrained in American history. I am sure that his name remained unknown by most of the Marines whose lives were saved due to his idea.
Our legacy is sometimes like that as well. Only a few will know it. Why did I bring up the story
of Terry Figgins and Philip Johnston? It just so happens that August is “What will be your legacy month?” How will each of us answer such a question? What will the significance of the dash on our headstone be?
As you ponder that question, let me leave you with one more. What do you think of your feet? Some of us look at our feet and see calluses, dry skin, perhaps some rather prominent veins or some swelling from retained water and we lament what age has done to them. Paul wrote in Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the Good News!” (ESV) The 17th of August is “I Love My Feet Day”. When our legacy includes preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, we need to remember that God’s Word tells us our feet are beautiful. I love my feet because I do preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. Do you love your feet? I pray that will be part of my legacy. Do you?
Have a blessed August,