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Legacies & Legends - Part 2

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BY HENRY ROY

"who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies." Hebrews 11:33-34

The phrase “That’s how legends are made” is a commonality in today’s halls of sports commentary. It speaks to an event, one’s accomplishment or defining moment that is a launching pad for greatness or stardom.

As a youth hockey player and fan growing up in the Boston area, I had the privilege of watching Bobby Orr grow into one of hockey’s greatest legends. I am certainly biased, but the argument for the greatest NHL player of all time, which has been currently in the headlines due to the NHL’s naming of the top 100 players, is moot in my humble opinion.

To accomplish what Bobby Orr did, in as little time as he did, is truly legendary! In his injury shortened career, Bobby redefined the role of a defenseman. He led the NHL in scoring as a defenseman three times in 10 seasons. He maintains the greatest plus/minus (+589) over his career than any player on record to date. Of his 10 seasons in the NHL, he won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman 8 times and the Hart trophy as league MVP 3 times and of course two Stanley Cups.

No he did not have the longevity that some other hockey legends had and some disqualify him from wearing the mantle of greatest of all time as a result, but he was a revolutionary player that was way ahead of his time and has yet to be replicated even in today’s era of bigger, faster and stronger athletes.

28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “Sovereign LORD, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. " Judges 16:28-30

Bobby Orr left a hockey legacy that is unsurpassed but there is a more important legacy matter for those of us that will never attain cultural or athletic stardom or greatness.

As we continue our look at the Hall of Faith chapter in the bible, Hebrews 11, we are shown that God used ordinary and often unpopular people to do extraordinary things to accomplish His purposes. Their recorded legacy of accomplishments in Hebrews imparts a confidence in us as followers of Christ that our lives can be used to leave a legacy of vital importance on a different level.

Samson was a troubled man on many fronts and had his vices throughout his short lifetime, but God gave him great strength that was used for His glory at the right time. (See Judges 15:14-15, 16:28-30)

Noah, on the other hand, was considered a very humble and obedient family man of no great standing. As a matter of fact, he was picked on as an old man (was 480 year old when he started construction of the ark) and despised for building a boat over 120 years in total obedience to God. It mattered not to him as he remained steadfast an in the end when the flood came, he found glory for God in his dogged determination to pursue what God had asked him to do (Hebrews 11:7).

God’s promises throughout the bible transcend generations and speak as loudly to us today as they did thousands of years ago. If we consider those promises and value building a life that is spent in pursuit of God’s will, then we can also leave a powerful and positive legacy for those that God brings into our life paths.

Romans 8:37 tells us that we too can be more than conquerors and Romans 8:31 says that If God is for us then who can be against us!

Noah's Ark Picture

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.Hebrews 11:7

Like Noah, Bobby Orr was not planning on leaving an NHL legacy that is etched in hockey lore. He was simply being obedient to his passion and using his talents the only way he knew how. It just forged a legacy of greatness along the way.

Noah, was also not pursuing a legacy of greatness for his sake. He was simply being obedient to the call of God on his life and likewise, it also forged a legacy…one of obedience to God that that has inspired generations to do the same.

  1.  Are you pursuing greatness in something? If so, are you pursuing it for your sake or for God’s legacy?

  2.  Read Judges 15 & 16. Does Samson strike you as someone that can be used of God in a mighty enough way to be mentioned for his remarkable faith in Hebrews 11? God can use anyone.

  3.  How can God use you in your humility to leave a legacy (small or large) of lasting impact?