Friday, September 7, 2012

What's a poor man going to give his son?

I'm a rich man, but I don't have much. When I think about my Legacy for Colton I often think about the things I might leave him someday. I have a few special things.

1. My baseball glove - I have both my little league and my high school gloves. He already has his own but maybe he'll want his dad's too!
2. My saddle - I have a custom made saddle that was form fitted to my backside. Assuming he gets my rear end and not Kendra's he'll have one nice saddle that was hand made for his daddy. 
3. Winchester Model 94 lever action rifle - It was a gift from my uncle, and this trusty old .30-.30 is a lot of fun.

Each one of these things could tell part of the story of who I am. I loved sports, but baseball held a unique place in my heart as my dad was a pitcher in college. My first saddle, like the rifle was a gift from my uncle who cowboy'd out west like I did and helped cement my passion for horses and cowboys. All of these items are tied to my past and my family. They're part of my heritage. As much of the gift is the story that goes with it. 

None of it however tells my entire story. I have thought long and hard about what is the one thing I could give Colton that tells him my story? 

I'm still searching. No one object completely wraps me up. Yes I'm a little weird, but surely something can represent me after I'm gone.

The problem is the things I can give him, and the legacy I want to leave him aren't the same thing. Yes I want Colton to know me and who I am, but more than that I want him to know my God. 

To be known by my God! 

As Kendra and I attended family camp at Miracle Mountain Ranch last week, the speaker was challenging the families about leaving a legacy. One practice this man has is he reads through the Bible once a year. Every year he changes to a brand new Bible and gives the old one to a grandchild. This hit home with me as I stared down at my Bible. 

Back home I had left the worn out, falling apart, tattered brown Bible I'd been given. It was the same sword my grandfather wielded for many years as he labored and fought to save kids and families through the camp and treatment center he and my grandmother founded. It has decades of notes, underlines, scribbles, and prayers. As I read my grandfathers bible I encounter the same God he encountered so many years ago when he first opened this book. More than that I get to see how it impacted my gramps. 

The power of this book in his life is so evident that it jumps off the pages. I can hear his voice as I read his thoughts and it's almost like sitting there studying with him!

This book is so important to me, I hand copied every line, note, jot, tiddle, and scratch to "my bible". It too is worn and showing its mileage. It's a blend of all my grandfather's thoughts and mine added into it as well. It encompasses my heritage, my faith, and my personality. 

It still doesn't tell Colton about every passion, hobby, or experience I've ever had. The thing is, my prayer is that I become less, and God would become more. 

I probably can't leave him an inheritance, a business, or a boat. I can leave him the one thing he'll need to face every situation he'll ever encounter. I can leave him a bridge to his father, his great-grandfather, and his heavenly father. I can give him something that inspires, educates, matures, and protects him. 

I will give him the most valuable thing I have... my Bible.


Ann Campagna said...

Ryan you are so amazing! Colton is very blest to have you and Kendra as his parents. You are truly giving him a precious gift and a great legacy when you give him your Bible. I pray that Colton will know yours and my God too. I know I can not make it a day without him. Blessings to you Kendra and Colton.

Ryan said...

Thanks Ann! That is our prayer.

Anonymous said...

You amaze me... I love your love for your family, I love your love for our Heavenly Father!
Thank you Ryan for the strength you have given me.
I share your stories with my family & I pray for you often.
Last week while driving to Church my 6 yr old daughter asked "Mommy how is your friend doing?" I asked what friend honey? " your friend Mommy that was in the hospital sick - the one with cancer the one I heard you pray for & he has a little boy" I said Mr. Ryan "yes Mommy is he ok now did he get to go home yet"? Yes my girl Mr. Ryan got to go home to his little boy & wife. "Mommy I think God heard you praying"... Children God's greatest blessing!

Anonymous said...

We love you Ryan, Colten & Kendra!
Juanita, Alexis & Christoper