by | Jun 24, 2023 | Example, inheritance

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)

We all leave an inheritance to those who follow us, particularly if we have children. I had four older brothers, and we were especially fortunate in inheriting godly examples of Christian living from our parents.

We were also shown how to make a busy family function efficiently. For example, we grew up knowing that while our mother happily prepared food for us to eat, it was the man’s responsibility to clean up after a meal and do the dishes. Our father always did so and thus we knew that this was the way it should be.

One side benefit was that our wives knew that at least in one practical instance (who cleans up after meals), they had a good mate when they married a Walter boy!

I was an adult married person when I learned the reason for this practice. In 1917, when my oldest brother, Fred, was born, my Dad told Mum that he didn’t like changing diapers. Mum responded by offering a “deal”. She would change all the diapers provided Dad cleaned up after each meal — doing the dishes, and so on.

Dad thought that was a great deal. Mum was a good cook, and after a happy meal, it was no big deal to clean up. Mum, though very quiet and always very respectful, was very smart. She knew that babies grow out of diapers, but meals go on forever. Clearly, she had won on that deal over time.

My Dad was truly a man of his word. One of the great inheritances that we received was seeing that in action — he never attempted to back down on the deal that he made in 1917!

My father didn’t leave us a significant monetary inheritance. In fact, he was scammed out of a large sum of money by a supposedly Christian man whom he had met through a Christian organization that my Dad was helping in his later years.

But in the matters that are really important — faithful Christian service, helping others, sharing God’s love, letting our light shine for God’s glory — both our parents gave us the best possible inheritance.

Now, the challenge is for me (and you) to do the same for those who follow. Daily, I question myself as to whether I am leaving a positive, faithful inheritance, not just to my children or to my eleven grandchildren and their spouses or to my twelve (and growing) great-grandchildren, but to the many residents and staff with whom I interact daily.

Age-related physical limitations gradually reduce our opportunities to interface with others, but we must remain faithful in leaving a good inheritance in what really matters!

Prayer: Dear Father, it amazes us to think of the inheritance that You have given us through the gift of love shown in the sacrifice of Jesus. Help us to reflect that love faithfully in service to others. In His name, we pray. Amen.

Vincent Walter
Toronto, Ontario, Canada