Dry roasted peanuts are very tasty. And the memories that come with a handful of these little nuggets of goodness are many. Most of them revolve around my Dad.
He was known in our family for liking dry roasted peanuts in a variety of ways: mixed with M&Ms; roasted with honey; in a trail mix; and just by themselves. So, as you can imagine, I can’t eat dry roasted peanuts without a memory of my Dad having a jar of these at his side as he watched sports on weekend afternoons.
My wife just bought some of these dry roasted peanuts along with a bag of candy corns. Believe it or not, the two of these mixed together tastes remarkably like a Butterfinger candy bar. Once again, the memories flow. My Dad’s dry roasted peanut legacy lives on.
But that’s not by any means the only thing my Dad left as a legacy. What’s far more important is the fact that he touched so many lives when he was alive that quite a few people came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ at his funeral. Nothing could be more important than an eternal difference made in someone’s life.
So what are you living for? Yourself? If not, why do you do anything at all? Just for the sake of knowing that you made a difference somehow? But for what reason? It’s certainly a selfish and self-centered existence to be living for yourself alone. But what guarantee do you have that anything else you do is going to last? Our motives can be very revealing.
This all comes into sharp focus when you’re living out what God would have you do with your life. An “eternity mindset”. A realization that every day has the ability to count for someone’s eternity and where they will spend it. My Dad had that kind of influence and I’m proud of that fact. I know God is using my life even more so to that end. And He is helping me to raise my two boys to be even more influential for His Kingdom than my life has been or will be. And that means everything to me!
Hopefully your legacy consists of something more than just dry roasted peanuts. If not, it can. I would encourage you to really think about how you do that. Regardless of what it is, it will have eternal consequences. So choose wisely, my friend. Your eternity depends on it!
We’ve all got summer memories, right? Memories of bike riding, games played outside, romps in the woods, and on and on it goes. A rather disturbing thought is us older folk probably have more of those kinds of memories than our kids do today.
What would those kids that were us back then have to say to the kids of today? (“You wear what? On where? Why??”) What about the parents? (“You let your kid wear that? On where? Why??”) Especially when it comes to riding in a car! I have memories of moving all around our family van as my Dad cruised down the highway. Nowadays, you just about get arrested for that. At the very least, the video someone has taken on their phone in the car behind you of your kid moving all over your van gets posted on CNBC, Fox News and any other T.V. show that will have panel after panel of so-called “experts” deliberating and arguing back and forth about the merits and pitfalls of such actions in today’s society.
So what would they say about “Yard Darts”?
Remember those? Two colored plastic circular tubes the diameter of a pencil. These made up two big rings that were the targets (the boring part); then, four darts–two sets of two different colored 12-inch long, plastic-finned, 3-sided tops with heavy metal bases that came to a point–completed the ensemble (the exciting part). Ours were in a cardboard box with those happy 1970’s family posers throwing the darts at the other team’s target. Nothing but good safe family fun, right?
What did kids do with this family-fun game when the parents weren’t around? What every kid did! Throw those sharp pieces of kid-dom fun straight up into the air as high as possible and try to calculate trajectories to see if they’ve gotta run like a banshee to avoid being pinned to the ground. We had a big side yard to do it in, too! As I recall, sometimes my brother and I would spread out on the side yard and lob them into the air to see how close we could come to the other brother without him actually having to move.
Yep….not smart. But it sure was fun. And very memorable. Mostly due to the fact that neither one of us ever got hurt playing with those things (God was certainly true to my mother’s prayers for our protection growing up). So what’s available now? Maybe a Nerf version of what used to be a thrill ride for a kid–something “safe” and non-threatening. That’s like giving a kid a chocolate cake without the frosting. No thanks. Give me the real thing. We’ve become too “safe-sensitive” in today’s culture–not that I want to go out and buy a real Yard Darts game for my kids. But I do recognize a tendency in myself and my parenting to be over-protective and unwilling to just let my boys be the kids that they are…kids that want to do things that in my adult mind seem unsafe and unwise. Yet what did I do as a kid? Some of the exact same things I catch them wanting to do.
Us adults need to remember what some of the joys of being a kid are. And when you stop and think about it, those childhood experiences really all come down to this: Sometimes the best teacher for a kid is the freedom to experience something for himself.