This past weekend would have been Botham Jean’s 28th birthday. To celebrate this occasion, there was a big birthday bash in his remembrance in Dallas. I was lucky enough to be able to attend this gala, called the Botham Jean Foundation’s Red Tie Event. There were hundreds of people in attendance ranging from politicians, retired Dallas Cowboy football players and, of course, some Harding representatives.
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness for the Botham Jean Foundation and the legacy that it is trying to emulate. Throughout the evening, we were all reminded of Botham’s legacy. I consider myself so lucky to have known Botham personally and be able to speak to his character. He loved people so well and served the least of these. Botham lived his life for the Lord, and therefore has a legacy worth celebrating.
This event led me to reflect on other people who have left behind a legacy.
I think of Mary Joy Uebelein and how seriously she loved and cared for people.
I think of Mark Perrone and the special way he had of finding a point of connection with everyone.
I think of Dr. Ganus and the impact he had all over the world with his willingness to serve.
These are not the only people who have set an example of legacy, but these are a few that I remember daily. I have now begun to ask myself, what will my legacy will be? Will I have a legacy like these people, or will I go from this life with nothing to show for it?
Legacy is not something that is spoken into existence. We have no verbal input on how people are going to remember us; the way we live our lives determines our legacy.
So what do you want your legacy to be? For me, I had to establish what I don’t want to be remembered as: I don’t want to be remembered for my looks or my major. I don’t want to be remembered as the Student Association guy or chapel song leader. I don’t want to be remembered by what club I’m in, the sports I played or my job after college.
I’ve realized that I don’t even want to be remembered as Carson Gentry. I want to be remembered as a loyal follower of Jesus.
Jesus’ legacy lives on today in everyone’s lives. It’s a crucial part of Mary Joy’s, Mark’s, Botham’s, Lis Jones’, Dr. Ganus’ and hopefully my own legacy. Their legacies are so impactful because of who was at the center of them.
I want you to determine how you want to be remembered. Do the most you can to create a God-honoring legacy and find a way to serve people every day.