This is a question that I believe should be on our minds every day. When we live with this question constantly on our minds, our daily decisions become much easier. When I realize that someday I will be gone but that I get to decide what I leave behind, I see my time as an investment instead of something that I spend.

This thinking has caused me to look differently even at the things that I learn. I do not believe that we should ever stop learning and that, until we do die, there is always room for growth and improvement. As I have gotten older though, I no longer view those lessons learned and opportunities to grow as only for me. I learn today so that I can leave something of value behind tomorrow.  If I can learn and then translate those lessons in a way that can be easily understood by those coming up behind me then, even when I am gone, I am showing them the way forward in their lives.

For me, this means writing and speaking and recording videos while working to contribute to the cultural conversation in a way that attempts clarifies so much of the clutter. For you it may be something different but we all need to answer the question: “What am I leaving behind?”


Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Jeremy Stalnecker is the Executive Director of the Mighty Oaks Foundation which is dedicated to helping America’s military warriors and their families who are suffering from the unseen wounds of combat. While growing up Jeremy’s only goal was to leave home and join the Marine Corps. This dream was finally realized with an active duty commission in 1999 which opened the door to serve as a Marine Infantry Officer during the opening days of the war in Iraq. One month after returning from Iraq, Jeremy entered full-time ministry and eventually accepted a senior pastor role. He later accepted a full-time position with the Mighty Oaks Foundation which brought together his ministry and military experience in a way that allows him to minister to hurting veterans, service members and their families. Along with his wife and their four children, Jeremy works to reach the hurting and provide healing found in Christ.

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