The individual at the other end of the line shared the news of the passing of my former pastor and spiritual covering Apostle Dr. Richard Daniel Henton. The news of his passing left me in shock and dominated my thoughts for the remainder of the day. As I fulfilled my professional responsibilities, I reflected on the impact his ministry had in my spiritual life, my prayer life, and love for God.
Social media has been inundated with tributes, photographs, and excerpts of sermons delivered by Apostle Henton during his 67 years of ministry. He has been characterized as a general in the army of the Lord, a spiritual father, a prince among preachers, mentor, a spiritual giant...
As the hours have passed and yet adjusting to the news of Apostle Henton's demise, I thought of his legacy that was born August 23, 1933, the day of his birth and was developed during his eighty-two years of life until October 22, 2015 when his moral body became immortal.
Typically when one transitions, people comment about his or her legacy, i.e. his or her wisdom, commitment to service, intellectual acumen, philanthropic endowments . . . Time is often spent musing over the quality, not the quantity of an individual's life after they have transitioned.
As I have ruminated over the the type of legacy I would like to leave, I have come to realize that one's legacy is not celebrated if a contribution has not been made in the lives of others. Those type of individuals tend to have been consumers, who have lived for themselves, and when they expire, there is little to be said about their investment in the lives others. However, at the end of one's life they have finished their course, their purpose for living. Legacy requires effort. The faint in heart will not leave one.
Songwriter, singer, and actor Eddy Arnold penned the sobering lyrics to a song entitled "Today" that is worthy of consideration:
"Have I given anything today
Have I helped some needed soul on the way,
From the down till setting sun have I wounded anyone
Shall I weep for what I've done today?"
"Oh today, Oh the day, Oh the day
Have I failed some greater flame on the way.
Just to know I've done my best as I go to take me rest
Let my name be blessed today."
Rest in Heaven, Apostle Henton..