By Matt Thomas
I love being a dad! I even love being a dad during COVID-19. As I write this, I just finished praying with my middle daughter, Elli, because of her frustration with schooling at home. Like, I said, I love being a dad during COVID-19.
What I love about being a dad right now is the unique opportunity to step into moments that I normally would not have. But, these opportunities are also accompanied by feelings of inadequacy and being overwhelmed. Schooling at home is hard. Re-learning math or science was not what I signed up for this semester. So, during this time as a parent, I find that I often need encouragement to remember what matters most.
This is a lesson that Zach Johnson taught us after winning the 2015 British Open at St Andrews, Scotland. While being interviewed after his victory, Zach said this,
“I feel like God gave me the ability to play a game. I try to take it seriously. I realize it’s just a game . . . this [win] isn’t going to define me or my career, at least I hope it doesn’t. It’s not my legacy. Granted, as a professional athlete and as a golfer I’m going to relish this. I’m going to savor this. I’m humbled by this. But my legacy should be my kids and family.”
What Zach Johnson reminds us of is that when it comes to life there is no real success without succession. So, as I wrestle with what matters most during this season, I am learning that what actually matters most is that I pass on to my next generation that which matters most; a legacy of faith in Christ, obedience to Scripture, a love for His church, and a concern for the lost. The Bible says in Proverbs, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him” (Prov. 20:7). While each of us strive to leave a financial legacy to our children, more importantly, may we strive to leave a spiritual legacy of faith in Christ and the riches of His grace (Prov. 13:22; 19:14; 2 Tim 1:3-5).
So, what does a legacy look like? I would say legacy involves a
Love for God and others;
Example of gospel humility;
Guidance through Scripture;
Availability and presence;
Consistency of character;
Yearning for heaven.
School leaders, the families you serve need encouragement more than ever before. This is a hard season for all of us, but it is especially hard for the parents of your students. Would you reach out to them today? Would you remind them that nothing is more important in this life than being one of God’s tools used to transform the soul of their child? Would you remind them that the repeated cycle of unplanned moments is the soul-shaping work of parenting?
Every parent in your school needs this encouragement today. Encouragement that the most important work they are doing cannot be measured in grades or academic accomplishments. Remind them that they are leaving a legacy that will not be soon forgotten. This is the only legacy worth leaving after COVID-19.