The Things That Matter
by Michael S. Tyrrell
August 3, 2021
Good Tuesday morning to you, Wholetonians.
This past week my father-in-law passed away. He was an amazing man. He was not what many would consider a person of great accomplishments. He didn’t have financial wealth, no fancy titles, no big ministry, no large social media following (he wasn’t on social media), and no Olympic gold medals…
But he was accomplished in the things that really matter.
As we sat together at his small memorial service, his family and friends took turns sharing memories of him and how he had impacted them. I was so impressed and moved listening to the stories of positive influence and lasting impact he made in all of our lives.
Integrity (noun): adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
We called him Papa; and Papa was a man of integrity. When he told you he would do something, you could take it to the bank. He was a man of his word, from a time when a handshake was your contract and honor was your badge. He was fully invested in his family; a humble man with a big heart and compassion for others. He may not have realized in his living years just how well he modeled what a good husband, leader, and father is to those of us around him who needed that model. These are the indelible marks he left behind that we will all treasure and aspire to. They are more valuable than gold.
People work so hard to gain material wealth, to accomplish great feats of physical strength and stamina, to earn titles, records, medals. Yet how often do we discover that when these celebrated people are gone, they leave behind a trail of tears, of broken lives and promises, or simply a legacy of mantle decorations.
“The righteous live with integrity; happy and blessed are their children who come after them.” ~ Proverbs 20:7
My father-in-law left us a living will…a will of intangible gifts and impartations that will continue to inspire his children and his children’s children: love, honor, and integrity. What an incredible legacy–greater than any riches or gold this world can offer.
These are the things that truly matter. They may seem small at the moment, but they are huge in retrospect. It’s the kind words, the love expressed, the compassion shown, the integrity of character displayed that will stay with us, that continues to live in the hearts of the people we love, the people who love us, and the people we unwittingly touch throughout our lives.
Live well and be Whole,
Michael S. Tyrrell
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