Mountain TOPA month or so ago, my husband was considering a volunteer opportunity. I asked him why and he replied, “I’ve been thinking about my legacy.” Legacy? Really? I can honestly say that until that moment I had not given my legacy a single thought. I am always focused on what’s next. I don’t think about what I’m leaving behind.

Recently, the death a beloved, father like mentor, George Bass, has me once again thinking about legacy. George was the founder of a ministry, Mountain TOP. The ministry was built off the adage: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” along with the scripture from Matthew 4:19. For over forty years this ministry has brought youth and adults together to serve with those of the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee. Thousands have been touched by the ministry and George.

George played a significant role in the person I have become. I was a part of the Mountain TOP ministry or years including many Summer’s on staff. George taught me leadership skills, conflict resolution skills, group facilitation skills to start the list. But, that’s not his legacy. His legacy is his roots in Christ. He faithfully followed this scripture to fish. These roots ran deep and were evident to all who knew him through is high level of integrity and commitment to truth.

18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people. (Matthew 4:18-19 NRSV).

His legacy is also the fruit he left behind. His beautiful family is obvious. However, his simple commitment to live faithfully and love deeply left behind thousands of leaders, pastors, teachers, healthcare providers etc. who strive to live with that same level of passion and integrity. Now, that’s a legacy.

I firmly believe that deep roots in Christ produces lots of beautiful fruit. So, I’m not going to ponder my legacy. I’m going to work on developing my root system. I’m going work on living with integrity and loving deeply. I believe the rest will take care of itself.

What is legacy to you? Do you think about it? How are you developing yours? How is your root system? Share your thoughts here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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