Galatians 3:26-27 (NIV)
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
The Black Hills of South Dakota are renowned for being good sculpture material. Most people have heard of Mt. Rushmore, where the colossal granite portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln have been carved into the top of the mountain. But did you know that not far away from Mt. Rushmore is another mountain being carved into a monument?
Right after World War II, Korczak Ziolkowski received an invitation from the North American Indian authorities to carve a memorial dedicated to a famous Indian, Crazy Horse. He quickly took their dream to heart and made it his passion. The chosen site was in the Black Hills, just a few miles from Mt. Rushmore, and beginning in 1947, Korczak worked diligently on this project until his death in 1982.
Throughout this time, the dream grew until it not only embraced the colossal sculpture carved into the mountain, but also the development, at its base, of the Indian Museum of North America, and eventually the Indian University (and Medical Training Center) of North America.
But carving a mountain is a monumental task, and unlike Mt. Rushmore, which was publicly funded and was carved by hundreds of workers, Korczak had no money and he worked alone. At the time of his death, only a rough outline of his carving could be seen in the mountain. He had a large family (5 sons and 5 daughters) however, and following his death, seven of his children decided to continue his dream.
Today, the head of Crazy Horse, as well as part of his right arm, can be clearly seen. Once finished, this colossal monument will stand 563 feet high and 641 feet long, far surpassing the size of Mount Rushmore, where the carvings are 60 feet tall. This monument-under-construction will serve as a constant reminder that North America is not only the land of the Europeans who arrived in the 16th Century, but more importantly, it is the land of its native people.
Who was this Crazy Horse? He was a courageous Indian strategist who furiously defended the rights of his people. He was a caring man who had at heart the interest of the widows, the ill, and the children. After the white man had taken away his ancestral land, he was asked where his lands were now. His response? "My lands are where my dead lie buried." The North American Indians couldn't have chosen a better representative for this monument.
Both Crazy Horse and Korczak Ziolkowski left a legacy that will always be remembered. But in all reality, we all leave a legacy. Some are perhaps more significant than others, some are better remembered than others, and some are definitely more negative than others; but we all leave a legacy!
It is sad how fast we tend to forget our ancestors and what they once stood for. When you read Genesis 5, you see that Adam's descendants are solely remembered by the sons and daughters they gave birth to. All except for Enoch. And Noah. Enoch walked so closely with God that His Heavenly Father took him directly into heaven (see verse 24), and Noah's obedience to God is legendary!
Only the firm, dedicated followers of God and His Son Jesus will be remembered for all eternity. Why? Because they become sons and daughters of the Most High. "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor 6:18 NIV); "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Gal 3:26-27 NIV); "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." (Gal 4:6-7 NIV)
What is it that your descendants will remember you for? Will they remember you as a caring, loving and thoughtful individual? Or as a self-seeking, egotistical scrooge? What will be your epitaph on your tomb? My desire would be for mine to read: "He found God's grace too amazing to keep it to Himself."
Dear Lord, we pray that we would live our life in a manner that would those that know us would see Your amazing Grace through us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.