As a wealth advisor, I’ve spent a decent amount of time talking with clients about what kind of “legacy” they want to have. Usually this legacy is related to the inheritance they want to leave to kids and grandkids and the way they want to be remembered.
Anna Petree’s passing has rocked many of our worlds, obviously none more than our friend and brother Shawn. But in the midst of the pain and grief it has completely transformed how I think about legacy.
10 years ago my wife met Shawn on a plane and he and Anna invited us into their home to do pre-marital counseling with us. Ever since then, our friendship grew and they have continued to invest in our marriage and shared the ups and downs of their own marital journey with us.
Upon Anna’s passing, Shawn shared with us that they both believed the legacy of their marriage lived on in us.
It was clear this wasn’t a “nice to know” type of thing. It was a call to action. A call to continue the work of helping young marriages succeed. A call to continue the great work that Shawn and Anna were doing as a couple in our lives.
In ancient Israel, the inheritance a father would pass down was usually in the form of land. As an agrarian society, receiving this land wasn't just about inheriting some measure of wealth though. When the child (typically the eldest son) would receive the land, the land came with tremendous responsibility... the responsibility to continue the work his father had been doing to farm the land.
In John 14, Jesus tells the disciples that after his death he will send his Spirit as an inheritance to help them continue his mission for the world. The story in Acts 2 after the Holy Spirit comes is one where a community of believers is rallied to action: healing the sick, lifting up the impoverished and feeding the hungry. One thing this painful experience has taught me is that legacy isn’t about passing on some money. Legacy isn’t about getting our name on a building. Legacy isn’t even about passing along some information about the family history. Legacy is about action. Legacy is about literally having the spirit of the one who has gone on to be with our Father live on in this world. The spirit of Anna lives. Lives through each of us in this community who were touched by her, impacted by her and transformed by the Lord through her. We must continue the great work she was doing.
It is our responsibility. It is our calling as her community. Join me brothers.
Teleios Board Member