On April 13, 1888, a man named Alfred woke up early one morning in Paris. While eating breakfast, he began to read the newspaper and was astonished to discover his own obituary on page 3. Naturally, it was a mistake, for in fact it was Alfred’s brother Ludwig who had died.
As a result of this error, Alfred was afforded a rare opportunity—a chance to see how he would be remembered. And he didn’t like what he saw. As David Zacks writes: “Alfred was shocked to see himself portrayed as the Merchant of Death, the man responsible for escalating the arms race. Even though he had made high-powered explosives much easier to use and was proud of how this power had been unleashed to mine precious minerals and build roads, railways, and canals.” The obituary portrayed him as a “monster” whose discovery “had boosted the bloody art of war from bullets and bayonets to long-range explosives in less that 24 years.” Stunned, but propelled into action, Alfred hatched a shrewd plan. Determined to change his current image and future legacy, he used his time and profits from the explosives industry to create an annual prize for peace. Today, few of us connect the creator of that prize to “the art of killing.” And that, my friends, is what Alfred Nobel intended.
If you died today, what would your legacy be? How would you be described physically? Would anyone mention a specific habit or addiction in connection with your life? Whether today, next month, or years from now, your legacy will one day be set in stone. What will we say you did? Who will we say you were? What difference will we celebrate that you made?
Your legacy is what YOU make it. And the most important part of your life…..begins now.
—Adapted from an article by Andy Andrews
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship