A Significant Historical Site?
March 9, 2017 By Pastor Dave Ryan
Have you ever heard of Doty Drive in Toledo, Ohio? Outside of my family or people who live near Secor and Sylvania Avenue, I would guess probably not. There are no historical markers or monuments on this street, and I would guess the current residents of the little white Cape Cod have thought little of the history of this common modest house. I would hope the old green carpet has been replaced and if they have been watching enough HGTV maybe a wall has been removed and an island added opening up the little kitchen and dining area!
I recently was down this familiar street when we were visiting Toledo and went past this signficant site for the first time in many years. I was thinking about the many events and memories from my childhood and teen years as I went past, and thought about historical significance. You see, this little home was my grandparents home for many years and we spent many hours there playing, family events and later helping to keep up the yard as they grew older. As Abraham Lincoln once spoke of Gettysburg, he knew that people will quickly forget and not care much for the details and events of the past no matter how big the monument built there. A monument or tribute does not make a time and place significant, no matter how much it costs to tour the site. What is significant is the lasting impact of the lives that were lived and the patterns that were taught to the younger ones trained there. At that little house on Doty Drive, I learned about hard work and being honest. I learned about a genuine love for God pursued through faithful reading of the Bible and praying about everything, for the reward of joy in Christ. I learned about being faithful to a marriage covenant even if your spouse makes life difficult. I learned about living with a determined faithfulness to obey God and a joyful serving spirit to whoever was in need. This was not a site considered of national or even local importance, but it was a place where I saw a lovely little lady who trusted a big God who provided an amazing grace through Jesus Christ, teach us all about living out a genuine proven faith. Her two children went on to live out these truths and multiply them by teaching myself, my siblings and cousins, who are now teaching their children and many others they serve to make Christ and the Gospel known. God commended Abraham’s legacy before it began in Genesis 18:19, “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing rightesousness and justice…”
Most of us will not have historical markers placed where we live and work, but we are all building a heritage and legacy that will affect and impact those around us and after us. We may be laying down stumbling blocks that will distract or mislead from knowing and pleasing Christ. We may be laboring at a foundation that is anchored to the powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ which will anchor our loved ones to the grace of God so that they may live to make known the holiness and glory of God and teach their children to do the same. My Grandma Ruth Ryan has run out her course and the artifacts from her life are mostly gone and not muesum worthy, but the Gospel that saved her soul and drew her to walk with Christ is powerfully at work today in transforming hearts and lives. The wise man who built his house on the rock is compared to the one who hears God’s words and acts on them with humble courage and sacrifice. This is the house and heritage what will stand the test of time. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that in Christ Jesus. The things which have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1-2)