Friday, May 25, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

Edit: November 29, 2012
This post was originally published on my blog in May, 2012. Mike was truly a man who inspired many to live a 'greater' life. I don't know that he would have considered his life 'lesser' or that of a 'loser'. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness, he could have decided that he did not have to continue to work and serve. He could have laid down and let others serve him. Instead, he continued to attend church, minister to others, and preach until literally days before his death. He didn't do anything magnificent or explosive, he just continued living out his life and his faith in the midst of what we all felt was a tragedy. His quiet persistence in his faith touched an untold number of lives. Below is the post I wrote after attending his funeral service.

I haven't written much lately. Truthfully, I have been rather uninspired. However, having just left the memorial service of someone I consider to be one of the giants of our faith, it would be impossible to not be inspired. Mike Storter was the real deal and he left a tremendous legacy of faith - evidenced by the packed service (I would guess 1000+ in attendance) and additional viewers on the webcast. He influenced an entire community for the gospel and it was reflected at every turn in his "Life Celebration" service tonight.

Dr. Lewis spoke from Philippians 1:19-26. This scripture says things like "...Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" and "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain". The Apostle Paul said he was torn between the two options of living and dying. I'm not sure I will ever attain that. As Dr. Lewis spoke my eyes were drawn to the banners at the front of the sanctuary related to the current sermon series. Hanging over the casket were two banners that said "Make my Life....A Living Sacrifice". In every way, I believe that is what Mike did. I remember most vividly the last time he addressed the church - seated, oxygen on, walker at his side - and talked about his leukemia. He said he was ready to die and pointed at himself and said, "In the light of someone else's eternity, what is this?" He was willing to sacrifice himself and take on the mantle of cancer and death, if it meant that someone else might spend eternity with Christ.

How does one come to this place? Over the past couple of years, I have struggled with what it means to be totally surrendered to Christ. Not just to give it lip service or to go through the motions, but to just give it all up, lay it all down, whatever He wants. In that, I have thought about what it would mean to sell all and move away, go on the missions field, live without, etc. But what if it meant the ultimate sacrifice? Would I be able to go through an illness unto death with the grace and faith that Mike showed and leave the kind of legacy that he left? I don't think so...not now.

Yes, I am inspired. Inspired to become more like Jesus. Inspired to continue to pursue total surrender. Inspired to deepen my walk. Inspired to reach out to others. Inspired to leave a legacy that glorifies Christ alone.

Thank you, Mike, for your life, your dedication, your passion. May we continue to learn from your example in death as in life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Such an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing. May this inspire many others to love "greater."

    Love and blessings,
    Kristen (OBS group leader)