Legacy or Waste?

Below is one entry from my upcoming devotional book ‘Choose Life!’, which will be available this coming June:

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Romans 9:17 “I raised you up for this purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Evariste Galois might have been as well-known as Albert Einstein, so why is it that this is probably the first time you’ve ever heard of him? On May 29th, 1832, Galois sat down and wrote a sixty-page mathematical masterpiece from start to finish without taking a single break. That one night’s work contributed more to his field than most of his esteemed colleagues could ever hope to. “What he wrote in those desperate long hours before dawn,” wrote Eric Bell, “will keep generations of mathematicians busy for hundreds of years.” 

Why did he do it? He wanted to leave a lasting legacy and he knew he might die the following morning. Pescheux d’Herbinville had challenged Galois to a duel. Foolish as it was, Galois wanted to defend his honour. He scrawled several times around his formulae: “I have not time, I have not time!” Shortly before dawn, he finished, went to meet his foe, and died of gunshot wounds shortly thereafter. 

Galois’ life embodied both legacy and waste. How much more he could have achieved… I can relate to his situation in that I’ve faced death many times in war-torn Burundi. Its prospect brings a sense of clear definition to life. Faced with time running out, you want to maximize every moment.

Hopefully you’re not going to die anytime soon, but what legacy will you leave? What do you wish to be remembered for? Will you waste your life in pursuit of things that don’t really matter? I want to leave a lasting legacy in the lives of others. How about you? Your answer to the above questions will most definitely affect how you choose to live today.

Lord, with your help I choose to invest my life in what amounts to a lasting legacy to the benefit of others. Amen!


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