I don’t watch Nascar.
I don’t think I lost many of you with that opening sentence. It’s a “sport” that I just never really got into, except for ya know… the crashes. And yet, I find myself writing this post due to Nascar. Specifically Jeff Gordon. Jeff Gordon is retiring from racing. I’m sure your gut reaction was, Who cares Tim? Apparently I do.
I don’t remember a time when he wasn’t racing and so for him to no longer be doing that is weird. When people in the sports/performance world that I have watched my entire life retire, or pass away whether I was a fan or not it always shocks me a bit. It’s like this thing that I have always known and always expected to be there is no longer there, something is missing. I don’t remember a time without Jeff Gordon racing, or Stuart Scott on ESPN, or Champ Bailey playing football. Where does the time go? An at the end of the day so what? Life moves on and continues, there will be new anchors, athletes, actors, singers, it’s the circle of life and there is always someone to step in and replace the old guard.
As I have watched different public figures ride off into the sunset and stop doing what I have always known them to do it’s like I am saying goodbye to some part of the past. Saying goodbye to something I connected them to. These are people I’ve never met and yet they affected me in some way, even just knowing they were doing what it seemed they were made to do was a comfort for me. The world might be chaos, it might be a mess but person X was doing what they always were doing, so not everything is changing and shaking. As I said, someone will always take the empty role but it’s never the same, those thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories are retired. Sometimes you can experience something that makes you remember, Lebron reminds of us Jordan, JT reminds us of Sinatra, Punk reminded us of Stone Cold, but they are more like shadows of something that once was. I guess the point is leaving a legacy, leaving a mark.
So what’s your legacy? What’s your mark? Will people know you were here? Even more important, will people who you never met be affected positively by the choices you made? The best way to make that happen, point people to Jesus. When we are choosing to love and live like he did we leave imprints that have a ripple affect. When we do what we were made to do, glorify God, we are living into our purpose in a much greater way than just a career or activity or even a role in a family. You living in such a way that is different, that is positive, that is drenched in grace changes not only your immediate relationships but people you will never meet.
Who has left a lasting imprint on your life? Who has affected you or inspired you even though they don’t know it? Share it with us here, and maybe try to share it with them too.