Mike Wallace

Yesterday’s passing of Dick Clark, 82, and that of Mike Wallace, 93, on April 7th, have me pondering the importance of work as calling. Both men had successful careers, made significant contributions to their respective industries and helped shape culture, for generations.

But these words from a recent US Today article remain in my thoughts, playing like a broken Bandstand record. The article mentions an interview Chris Wallace gave in December 2011, just months before his father passed away.

“Physically, he’s OK. Mentally, he’s not. He still recognizes me and knows who I am, but he’s uneven. The interesting thing is, he never mentions 60 Minutes. It’s as if it didn’t exist. It’s as if that part of his memory is completely gone.”

Chris Wallace said the only thing his father talked about at that point in his life was his children and grandchildren. “There’s a lesson there. This is a man who had a fabulous career and for whom work always came first. Now he can’t even remember it.”

I’m not sure how I feel about getting to the end of my life having spent years working towards something that I may not even remember. Or spending wasting *precious* time on things that don’t matter.

And that’s not even factoring in eternity.

God, give me wisdom. And tenacity. And grace.

What about you?
At the end of your life, what do you want to remember? 

Creative Commons photos on Flickr by Mike Licht, notionscapital.com and Terry Ballard.