What Will Be Your Legacy?
By Col. Scott McChrystal, Battle Ready Ministries Board Advisor
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If you ever wonder whether and why God continues to bless our nation, look at our southern border. Millions of people are desperate to enter our country. Why? They want to get into what they believe to be the best nation on the planet—a land of freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and so much more.
Sadly, we can’t presuppose that God’s blessings will continue—not when America is violating God’s commandments and guidance in so many ways. The battle over abortion continues. The definition of marriage and even what it means to be a man or woman is attacked. Increasingly, our culture attacks officers of the law and fails to punish those who break the law. Among our politicians we discover those who support bills that hurt Americans while lining their own pockets.
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A growing faction in our great land not only criticizes but even hates America. They’re working hard to rid our nation of its godly values and to see us devolve into a globalized form of socialism. Their vision of the future denies God and exalts destructive humanistic values.
As a new generation comes of age, too few folks know American history. They have no clue about what it took to establish our democracy. History tells us we have a great nation for two reasons: First, our forefathers sought God for His wisdom, protection, mercy, and blessing. Second, our forefathers did more than pray, they also acted. God answered their prayers and honored their sacrifices. Their blood, sweat, and tears brought into being this great American experiment.
We’re standing on the shoulders of men and women who have gone before us. Their legacies still speak to us. As we remember their lives, we must ask a vital question: What will be our legacy?
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Patrick Henry delivered his speech “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” on March 23, 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. His speech helped to persuade American colonies to declare independence and take up arms against oppressive British policies.
“Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
This willingness to make any sacrifice is a common thread woven throughout our nation’s heritage. If you want a godly legacy, you will have to be willing to make sacrifices.
Soldiers in Burma
Toward the close of World War II, the Army's 2nd Infantry Division erected a memorial to honor the many valiant Americans who never returned home from the Burmese jungles and fields. Now almost 80 years later, the inscribed words are just as relevant, just as powerful.
The Memorial reads: "When you go home, tell them of us, and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today."
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President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan made this astute observation:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Your life has the potential to shape other lives, just as Patrick Henry, the brave soldiers in Burma, and President Reagan did. What will be your legacy? One person’s voice, one person’s story, one person’s legacy can make a gigantic difference.
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Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal, Ret.: Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal, US Army (Retired) served 31 years on active duty, 10 as an infantry officer and the remainder as an Army chaplain. His infantry officer experience includes a tour in Vietnam and three assignments with the 82nd Airborne Division. His chaplain experience includes tours stateside and abroad, culminating with duty as the senior chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He retired from active duty in 2005 and served as the military endorser for a large denomination until 2019. He has earned several post-graduate degrees along with graduation from The United States Army War College. In recent years, he and his wife have written several Christian devotionals. In addition, Scott served as the managing editor for the The Warrior’s Bible, an application Bible for the military community and co-authored a Christian action-novel. He presently serves as the Executive Liaison for The Warrior’s Journey and as member of the Distinguished Advisory Board for Battle Ready Ministries. He and his wife, Judy, live in Springfield, Missouri, and have 4 children, 12 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.
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