What kind of inheritance do you hope to leave your children? Most of us think of an inheritance in terms of wealth, maybe a family business or perhaps traditions, values or character qualities, but I’d like to suggest that the most valuable legacy we can leave our children is a rich spiritual inheritance.
I became aware that I am the beneficiary of such a priceless legacy during a weekend stay with my grandparents, Callie and Erich, while I was in college.
Spending a weekend with one’s grandparents as a young adult was not…exciting. Food and love were present in abundance (there was nothing like my grandmother’s homemade bread), and I’m sure we played a little Scrabble or Yahtzee, but it wasn’t quite my typical college weekend. However, one particular night in their home stands out to me all these years later after I’ve long forgotten most other Friday and Saturday nights.
A Spiritual Heritage
Having stayed up to watch television after my grandparents went to bed, I eventually turned off the lights and the TV, put away dishes, and headed for my room. I had to walk by their bedroom on the way to mine, and as I walked by, I overheard them praying, out loud, for each of their six children, their spouses, and their 28 grandchildren. I think I just stood and silently listened for a while, suddenly aware of the power present in the house as they united in audible prayer for their family.
I remember it to this day.
Erich and Callie were not wealthy. My grandfather spent his working years teaching in Christian schools. They raised and college educated six children during depression and war years, and yet they were generous in every way. They lived a simple and humble life by all worldly standards. My grandparents may not have left much of an investment portfolio, but they left a spiritual legacy that still pays dividends.
Callie and Erich are now enjoying their eternal rewards, for they didn’t live too many years after that weekend. I don’t think I ever expressed my gratitude to them for their faithful prayers and their unconditional love. I wish I had done so. Today, however, I do my best to honor them by passing on their legacy to my children and grandchild.
Nothing is more eternally valuable.
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6