Over the Christmas holiday, I had the distinct privilege of speaking at the funeral service of a dear friend, Tyler Burkett. He was an amazing minister, missionary, husband, father and friend. Though I have spoken at many celebrations of life services before, I was struck by the number of people, both at the service and on social media, who expressed their love for this man.
Tyler’s legacy is one that will be felt around the world for many years to come because he was a man of action. He was not someone who simply talked about the need for Christian missions, evangelism, influence or aid throughout the world. He saw needs and made plans then he gathered people around those plans and made things happen. So many people talk about the need for Christians to be more active in the world, to help the poor and to have a presence of love and Christ’s mercy; but they never do anything BUT talk. We need to learn from Tyler’s example. He may have even made mistakes along the way, but, if so, he made those mistakes because he was doing something on the planet. People of action will stumble at times because they are moving forward. So many people get stuck in “analysis paralysis.” We study and analyze and dissect what should be done, but no one actually takes the risk of getting out there and doing it.
Tyler’s sense of urgency is the other thing I will most remember about him. When you talked to him, he looked you in the eyes and made you feel like the most important person in the world. But, you also knew that his brain was working overtime in the background seemingly planning something else, because he had an intense desire for the world to know Jesus. If we are to follow Tyler’s example, there should be a constant tension in our lives to complete the great commission. I know when I’m walking close to Jesus when my heart’s desire for the lost becomes such a heavy burden it brings me to tears. When was the last time that happened in your life? I know, for me, it’s far less often than I would wish.
My hope and prayer is that my life would also leave a legacy, an impact on this world for Christ. I pray that this is a year of legacy and urgency for you as well. Happy New Year!