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Alex Trebek is writing a memoir: Leaving a legacy by doing what we ‘delight’ to do

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Alex Trebek and Hailey Bieber: 2 steps to biblical courage
Alex Trebek holds the award for outstanding game show host, for his work on "Jeopardy!" backstage at the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Friday, April 28, 2006.

Alex Trebek is one of the most iconic figures in our culture. The host of Jeopardy! for thirty-six years, he has taped more than eight thousand episodes of the popular show.

Last year, he announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Many of us have been praying for his health with gratitude for his passion for knowledge and education.

Now we learn that Trebek is finally writing his memoir. The Answer Is . . . Reflections on My Life will be released on July 21.

For years, he refused to write an autobiography, but he explains that “all the goodwill” he’s received from fans after his cancer diagnosis prompted him to change his mind.

Trebek will write about his cancer battle, his marriage, success, and spirituality, and “what prompted him to shave his signature mustache.” He will also give his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, along with his opinion on Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live impersonation.

Leaving a legacy

You and I may not be as famous as Alex Trebek, but we are writing our memoirs as well.

Whether they are set down in words or not, our lives are telling a story that will outlive us. The impression we make on those we influence will stay with them long after we have stepped from this world into the next.

Charles Spurgeon noted, “A good name is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”

Here’s the catch: God can make our lives a better legacy than we can. He can lead us more effectively than we can lead ourselves. He can give us words to speak to those in need, compassion to share with those who are hurting, and insight for those we are to serve. He can make us far more effective in changing lives and hearts than we can make ourselves.

This is why the prophet’s prediction about Jesus is a commitment we should emulate: “His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:3). We always do what we “delight” to do. When we “fear,” reverence, and submit to the Lord, not out of religious obligation but from a genuine delight in him and his best for us, he will use us in ways we cannot imagine today.

When Peter and Andrew submitted their fishing boats to Jesus, he made them “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). They had been successful businessmen, but he made them eternally significant leaders in his kingdom advance.

When C. S. Lewis submitted his brilliant mind to Jesus, the Lord made the Oxford professor a universally acclaimed Christian apologist. When Billy Graham submitted his life and ministry to the authority of God’s word, the Lord made the little-known evangelist into a global figure.

God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.

Are you delighted to submit to your Lord today?

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