How Much Did He Leave? (All of it!)


I don’t know why it is, but when someone famous passes away, it sets me into a pensive mood.  At their passing, famous people are often cited for their body of professional work. A businessman is acclaimed for his industry, someone from the arts for their creative mind or acting abilities. Athletes are recognized for their sports accomplishments, a singer for their songs, etc, etc., etc. Such was the mood I was put in when over ten years ago l heard that  George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, passed away at the age of 80.  I noted that the stations that reported on his death highlighted his seven championships and his demand of excellence. He was known by his players as just “The Boss.”  I really don’t know much about Mr. Steinbrenner’s life. I only know what I read of him in the papers. I understand he was very generous and helped many a troubled ballplayer. Some former players even said they felt he was a father to them. To me, those last qualities speak more of who he was then seven championships. And that is why the deaths of such men as Mr. Steinbrenner put me in a pensive mood.

I am reminded of a friend of mine who upon burying his mother had this to say while at the cemetery. “My Mom lies here in this ground, a common woman with no notable accomplishment in this world, other than being a mother. Yet, as I stand here I can see the grave of one of the most influential businessmen of our time. They lie together, same ground, same fate.” And that statement is what comes to mind when I hear of a famous person passing. In the end, even the most powerful, famous and wealthy person, ends up equal to the most lowly of traveler who has graced this earth. They both lie in the ground, stripped of all earthly titles and wealth.

A common joke is told of a wealthy businessman who died. Upon hearing of his death, a business associate asked another, “How much did he leave?” The reply,  “All of it!”

And so, as Mr. Steinbrenner surely found out, as have all others.  The glory of this world doesn’t pass to the next but “whosoever believeth in him (Jesus Christ) should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)

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