Legacy: something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past; anything handed down from the past.
Inheritance: valuable possession that is a common inheritance.
It is just a clock, circa 1954-1955. A GE clock that probably cost less than $5.00. But in the Disher family it’s a heirloom and a legacy that has been passed down to different generations.
I have heard the story of the clock many times over in the 42+ years I have been enfolded into the family.
The house was built in the middle 1950’s and Bob’s granddaddy Burleson, his mama’s daddy, was a master electrician and “wired” the house for his oldest daughter and her husband.
He wired an electrical outlet in the wall high over the kitchen sink, not a normal spot for an outlet. He went to Lanier’s Hardware in downtown Lexington and bought two electric clocks, one sliver and one gold. Bob’s mother received the silver one and his other daughter received the gold one.
Granddaddy Burleson plugged the silver clock in and hung it over the sink and it stayed there until 2008 when his daughter moved into a house to be closer to her children.
There was no plug over the kitchen sink in the new house so the clock found a new home the “cleanest garage ever”. Bob’s mother plugged it in and it continued to keep perfect time.
What makes this clock an heirloom, an inheritance, a legacy?
When my son was young, he always told his Nana that he wanted the clock when she no longer needed it.
A few months ago Nana gave Bob the clock, because Robby always wanted it.
I put it on the stairs to eventually take it upstairs to Rob’s bedroom.
Our daughter McKenzie came home not too long after that and saw the clock and asked if she could take it home.
She didn’t want the clock for herself, she wanted it for Eli, our grandson, Nana’s great grandson.
And the circle continues.
What makes a legacy? It is memories and values and examples and lives well lived according to God’s will.
That clock ticked off the minutes, that ticked off hours, that ticked off days, that ticked off weeks, that ticked off years. The clock that ticked off the life of one family, the celebrations, the arguments, the accidents, the worries, the pacing, the cooking, the baking of birthday cakes, the craft projects, the early Thanksgiving morning putting the turkey into the oven, the heart breaks, and the grief. It ticked off the scuffed knees, runny noses, tattling and discipling of three children and the love story of two people.
The clock kept the time of one family and in doing so, presented to the next generations a legacy of love, laughter, tears, faith and perseverance in the face of adversity.
The clock still ticks off the time and the values and the legacy of this extended family.
In many ways the clock is a reminder, a touchstone of the faith that is built generation after generation.
A legacy is built over time and lasts for eternity.
What does an old clock have to do with baptism? Children hear the stories over and over of how their grandparents and parents stepped into the water. They watch and they listen and they remember. The inheritance is passed down, built over time and lasting for eternity.
A legacy or inheritance is passed down and given to the next generation.
The clock is still ticking after 60+ years; a legacy that has been passed down and given to the next generation. As long as it is plugged into a power source it was built to last for long time.
I see my grandchildren, the great grandchildren of Bob’s grandfather, being handed that legacy today. It begins with surrender, it is built over time, and it lasts forever.
Our son was baptized in 2001, our daughter in 2003 and son-in-law in 2007. Sunday “at the lake” reminds me of a little sliver of heaven. We gather and celebrate the only life worth living: one totally and completely sold out, and a party breaks out in heaven and on earth. I imagine Bob’s grandfather, both of our fathers, our son and even our first grandchild cheering madly for the washed-clean people of 2015.
This is how a godly legacy starts, is sustained and secured. Legacy doesn’t happen in an instance; it is built over time and passed on over and over again. And when I get to the end of my life, it’s all I will care about leaving behind.