Abundant Living Vol. XIX, Issue 26

“That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; that they in their turn might tell it to their children.”  Psalm 78:6 

As we were cleaning out our previous house a few years ago preparing to move we came across a dusty old King James Bible propped up against some other old books on one of the high built-in bookshelves in our living room. It had belonged to my great-grandfather.  Age had taken a toll on the leather binding, but judging by the tattered pages and notes in the margins, the inside was worn not from age but from usage.  According to the inscription the Bible had been a Christmas gift to my great-grandfather back in 1911 from his two daughters, my grandmother and great-aunt.

My great-grandfather, Robert Boyle, died in 1924 long before I was born, so needless to say I never knew him.  What little I know about him is that he was an Irish immigrant, moving his young family to the U.S. in 1889 where he established a sheep ranch in northern Texas.  His grandchildren called him Grandpa, same as my grandkids call me – a mere coincidence, though touching.  In his younger days I’m told he had studied theology at the University of Edinburgh in preparation for ministry in the Presbyterian Church, so the fact he read scripture regularly comes as no surprise.

I don’t know a lot of other details about his life other than these, except that I realized something I had never considered before when I discovered his old King James Bible.  My great-grandfather left a great legacy to his successors; for in reading the notes he scribbled in the margins and the verses that were dog-eared it is obvious he was a man of great character, high moral values, a student of scripture and a man of God.  Now here it is a hundred years later and he’s still making a difference in people’s lives – mine in particular.  What a legacy!

I wonder in this day and age if we consider our own legacies the way we should, the ones that really matter.  Grandpa Boyle’s old Bible made me pause and give some thought to that.  Will I leave that kind of inspired legacy that will endure a hundred years or more?  I need to be thinking about that so “that the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn.”  As a reminder we have given his old Bible a prominent place in our new home where it lays open to Psalm 78.

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