J. Tayburn (Written February 2018)

The other day I noticed several jets moving across the blue

Wending their way, they left a contrail as they flew

The fast-moving planes disappeared before too long

But their contrails lingered awhile before they were gone

It got me to wondering what contrails do we leave?

What stories about us will succeeding generations believe?

Will there be wonderful memories for them to recall?

Or when you’re gone, will there be no contrail at all?

Will there be anything for your grandchildren to see?

Or will your story not even qualify as a fading memory?

Will they listen to tales about great grandpa with glee?

Or will there be just empty pages for your legacy?

There’s an old country song I’ve sung a few times

About leaving this world and what you leave behind

It’s not what you take when you leave you know

It’s what you leave behind you when you go

So what are my options; what can I, an old man, really do

There’s no paucity of choices, so let me give you a few

Make memories now that your family will never forget

Those contrails with staying power that linger after the jet

Produce a video, organize those photographs, write a book

Do something wild and crazy; an adventure undertook

It’s the out-of-character moments, not the blasé

That people will remember long past your day

Set an example for the children to emulate and live by

Show them there’s a time for laughter and a time to cry

That challenge brings growth and the good guy wins

And that regardless of what life brings, you can trust in Him

That truth and integrity will never make the nightly news

But will bring friendships and relationships you’ll never lose

And during those times when your life seems in tatters

It’s the love of those closest to you that really matters

We have no idea how long we’ll have till God reclaims our soul

Because when all is said and done, it’s He who’s in control

Just remember, when life jets by and your person is out of view

It’s your contrail that will determine how they’ll remember you.

This poem is representative of others that appear in the book “Growing in the Spirit” which is available in the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop.