Legacy of Babel

I read a post from a friend yesterday and was inspired.
Pandora's Box

I began to think that maybe I should be concerned about my legacy, what I am leaving to the world. What is worth investing in?

Then I was smacked back to reality.(first by the email below from a dear friend and elder) and then by the sermon of Dr Browning at HRBC this memorial day Sunday.

-----------------------> FROM BRUCE

Forgive me for taking this liberty, but I feel I must respond to words floating around about the present state of my cancer and prospects of survival.

I am dying of cancer - so what?, that's been going on for a long time.

If you have concerns about my latest PSA readings and the radiation maps proving, finally, that my cancer has metastasized, then realize that this is just another phase of the cancer which has had me in its sights for a long time, over 12 years.

If you have concerns, then the concerns are yours not mine. I have known of what I have been dying for the past 12 years. When a biopsy yields a Gleason score of 9, as mine was, then your days are numbered no matter what action you take - it's just that no one knows what that number (of days) is. A Gleason score above about 7 will almost guarantee that no matter what you do within the limits of today's technology, your days are numbered - you can cut the prostate out, you can burn it out (with all sorts of radiation, including ultrasound), you can freeze it out, but in a few years the cancer will show itself again because it never totally left. With a Gleason score of 8 or 9, it just might as well be 10 (which means it has gotten out of the prostate with certainty).

It pains me to see the concern people have when I just can't generate any concern. Don't get me wrong I'll fight this thing until it takes me, if that is what does take me, but it has no power over me any more than satan has.

Thirty-six years ago The Lord won a victory over me, and I became His. (See Attachment). As Paul said, "to be absent from the body is to be present with Jesus". I really don't quite see it that way. If anything, I feel more like I have expected to be absent from this body twice, but have been present with my Lord Jesus soon after the first began:
1. The first was 38 years ago when hypoglycemia had me by the throat, and I felt I had no future.
2. The second was when it was discovered that I had inoperable cancer, and I figured I had at most 5 more years on this earth. So I have contemplated my exit in some manner for some time. Now that I am 78, that contemplation is fast approaching reality no matter what. It is a given: All living things must die, we are born to die.

William Shakespeare says through Julius Caesar (Act 2, Scene II), "Cowards die many times before their death; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come."
I learned that back in the third grade or so. I have never felt "valiant", but I have always believed that about life, in a fatalistic way if not any other way. It is so logical that there is no reason to fear something which is destined to happen at some time no matter what. Believing in Jesus Christ and believing that He offers another life with Him after this earthly life comes to an end, just turns something which could be viewed as a negative into something which is extremely positive.

I have been contemplating writing something I will call MORTALITY. One of my key points will focus on time as eternal which makes an individual's life on earth infinitely short. Another thing I will focus on is that we continue to live our lives through our offspring, and in a real sense we (our unique DNA, that is) cannot "die" unless and until all our descendants die.

So have no concerns for me, your concerns should be about your "offspring". I will leave this earth, whenever that happens to come, a satisfied and happy man, not so much as because I have, "fought the good fight", but because I have lived at all, and have living descendants which would never have lived at all, but for me, and of course those of my ancestors who preceded me. The Lord has orchestrated through June and me a legacy which few enjoy.

I have a good friend more than 20 years my junior who is also dying of prostate cancer. His concern is because he is dying at such a young age. "It just isn't fair" he bemoans. He has no offspring. From an earthly view point that should be his concern. Thank God he too knows Jesus.

-----------------------------------

Attachment:

To understand me better you have to know what happened to me about a week after I finally yielded to the call of Jesus Christ. It was quite an experience and no one can understand another's experience without having had the same experience. But here's the best I can do to explain it. If you are familiar with the conversion of the Apostle Paul, then you might have some understanding of what happened to me.

I was sitting in a chair in the living room with my feet up on an ottoman reading the Sunday funnies. Linda Wetekamm, a Wheaton College student who was spending the summer with us contemplating whether she would continue at Wheaton, was sitting on a couch to my right side. Mind you, I had been a Christian for only 1 week. For some reason I asked what it was like when satan attacks you. She gave me some sort of answer and then for some reason left the room.

As soon as she had left, satan attacked me in a literal sense. I can still almost feel the jab/stab. It came from the center of my back at an upward angle toward the left ( that's the best I can do to describe it). I immediately reacted by shouting in my mind, "sic him Jesus". I don't like those words, but that is the way it was. Mind you all of this only took a second. Immediately, Jesus responded doing something I can only describe as dumping a ton of Love on me. The feeling was huge and intense. I knew that I cold not survive such an intense feeling. I was petrified, I couldn't move a muscle and felt like I couldn't even breathe. I very soon began saying to Jesus, "Thanks a lot, but I don't believe I can survive this, please take it away." Well it didn't just go away, but after a while, it slowly began to subside.

I just sat there wondering, "what in the world was that?" I was dumfounded. I had never heard of such a thing in my life. Why did He do it? Well I soon found out why, because Jesus used it during my ensuing training period. I know that Jesus needed me to be saved in order not to be a hindrance to His plans for my children.

Jesus took me through a crash training course building in me a firm foundation of faith. Which was not easy because He was working with a left-brain engineer. But during the 15 months of His "crash course" whenever I would wonder whether He was really there, I would think back on that Sunday morning and the "ton of Love", and kinda reach up mentally and turn a volume control. And here would come that Love feeling. I would immediately turn it back and say, "OK, Jesus, I know you are still there", and proceed with whatever He had for me.

I don't know when I reached the point where I didn't need the "volume control", but it was soon after my "training period". I know there were times during the past 35 years I have thought about that volume control, but never wanted to test it. Then a few months ago while in prayer I decided to try it out, and here it came, admittedly, in a much weaker version, but enough that I knew it was still there if I should need it. I could almost hear my Friend, Jesus laughing at me - which He has had plenty of opportunity to do through the years.


--------------------------->

Any accomplishment I might achieve, anything I might build.. all of these things are a waste of energy. If my intention is to bring glory to myself, or my legacy, then I have missed the entire point. Legacy is a blessing. Fame is fleeting. Reputation is based on more than just the outcomes. The journey and the people are paramount.

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