"Motivated by Legacy" - The President's Perspective
April 18, 2012
Dr. Bill Brown, president of Cedarville University, provides today's Parent Prep post.
Legacies are not just for the famous and powerful. The most important legacies come from people who invest in others where they live every day. No library or memorial will document their legacy. Most of them seek only a "well done" from the One who truly matters.
When I was a young boy, I vividly remember our family leaving a restaurant after enjoying a meal. When we got to the car, my dad, looking at his hand, said, "The waitress gave me too much change." He went back into the restaurant and returned the overage.
It was a penny. A penny!
My dad was not thinking about his legacy; he was only doing what he knew was right. In his mind, there is no such thing as a small indiscretion. His constant example of joy and integrity is his legacy. The fact that I remember that evening is a testimony to its impact on my life. As Shakespeare said, "No legacy is so rich as honesty."
Our most important legacy is not what we leave for someone but what we leave in them. Or, in the words of Pericles, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."
This motivates us here at Cedarville University.
The focus of our mission statement is to "equip students for lifelong leadership and service." Building into the lives of others by serving as Jesus did is something that we cannot just talk about. Students must see a life of service lived and celebrated for the glory of God. Because we have been so loved by God through Christ, we do not have to serve others, we get to serve others. No hidden agenda; no ulterior motives. God's grace frees us to turn our attention fully to serving the person in front of us.
The Cedarville University vision statement affirms, "Our graduates will be known for their faithfulness to the authority of Scripture and the use of their influence to change the world for Christ." Cedarville graduates are actively building this kind of legacy. They are pouring themselves into their work and ministry in such a way as to change lives for Christ. Their faith and vision inspire and motivate us to continue.
Not surprisingly, those who leave the greatest legacy never think about their legacy at all. They are too busy building into the lives of others to worry about how people in the future will evaluate them. Their lives are well-lived, a testimony to God's goodness.
We serve at Cedarville University to help students live this kind of life, to influence this world with the grace and power of Christ. This is the only lasting legacy.
Dr. Bill Brown became president of Cedarville University in June 2003. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Brown holds a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. As a nationally recognized worldview expert, he has authored three worldview-related books and is the executive producer of the worldview study re:View. Follow Dr. Brown on Twitter or listen to his Monday chapel podcasts.
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