(Click on pictures for larger image. But since this post doesn’t have any, please pretend hard.)
Ever since writing The Devil and Pastor Gus, a novel about a minister who wants to leave a worthwhile legacy to future generations, I’ve been thinking about that subject a lot.
Poor Gus didn’t think his accomplishments as a minister would have a very wide-ranging or long-lasting effect. As I look back at my three pre-writing careers, I can relate.
Although I occasionally receive encouragement from former students that I was more successful as a teacher than I thought at the time, what I taught them isn’t likely to touch their children or grandchildren.
Working as a counselor/interviewer in a Federal jobs program put a little money into the pockets of the participants who learned to play the system. But even if I helped change anyone’s life, the effect of that won’t last long, either.
No matter how successful I was during most of my computer programming career, my prize accomplishments were about to become obsolete–no legacy possibilities there–at the time I was transferred into something I proved highly inept at. I hope nobody will remember my failures there.
Although Kathleen will remember me as a loving husband (assuming I die first) and my daughter may remember me as a loving father, how can I continue to have a positive influence on them–much less to touch future generations?
I’ve written over two hundred Christian songs and some poems and short plays as well. But the songs have never been published or sung by anyone else and my other writings were published in newspapers and magazines that future readers will not have access to or care about.
No wonder Pastor Gus got so upset at the realization that his life wasn’t going to count for much once he was gone. He didn’t mind the thought of being forgotten. But he wanted to do something that would be remembered and accomplish a lot of good, even without his name attached to it.
Maybe that’s why The Devil & Pastor Gus, which is due out on November 25 of this year, is so special to me. Maybe that novel will prove to be my legacy.
What have you done that you think/hope will outlast you and have a positive effect on others in the future? Won’t you share that with us by leaving a comment?
I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.