Adding to my introduction to Parke, at his school today, I met Andrew Jackson, Harriet Tubman, John Wilkes Booth, and others whose names I do not recall - such as the woman the Union Army turned down to serve as a nurse because she was "too beautiful" and the Confederate Captain who shot himself in the knee, intentionally.
From a room full of fourth and fifth graders, I learned much today about men and women over one century after they lived.
Fast forward into the future. A fourth grader in 2116 applies a beard, wig, cottonball mustache, or hat in order to present a wax image of you. Parents, teachers, and fellow students tap your wax lookalike on the shoulder, step back, and listen for the presentation.
What does the child say?
For what will the next century remember you?
Heroic action?What if they remember you as one who lived every day to the fullest?
Heart of service?
Shooting yourself in the knee?
What if they, acknowledging your less-than-outstanding traits, told of your kindness, honesty, and care for others?
The words of wisdom in the God-inspired text tell us . . .
Do not boast about tomorrow,We do well not to boast. We can, however, strive to put words into the mouths of the future's fourth graders by living as we want them to remember us.
for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
an outsider, and not your own lips.
Proverbs 27:1-2 (NIV)
What will the wax say of you?