….though it's a name most of us have never heard. Robert Hunt. Ever heard of him? In context, he's one of the early settlers of America, Virginia to be exact. Still no good?
Robert Hunt is, more appropriately, the Rev. Robert Hunt. He was part of the settlement at Jamestown, and had come to settle in America and be part of the spiritual leadership of the colony. He led the first prayer meeting there, on the day of landing. He also died the first year of the colony.
Here's what the colonists, his flock said of him:
His people, members of the Colony, left this testimony concerning him. He was an honest, religious and courageous Divine.
He preferred the Service of God in so good a voyage to every thought of ease at home. He endured every privation, yet none ever heard him repine. During his life our factions were ofte healed, and our greatest extremities so comforted that they seemed easy in comparison with what we endured after his memorable death.
And to think, these days you'll hear us preachers complain of everything from lousy cell phone signals to having to use a PC when we want a Mac. Hunt traveled with the colonists, worked with them, and struggled with the same challenges that they dealt with, and had to help them get along. How would we handle those challenges?
He's the first church planter in America:
He planted the first Protestant Church in America and laid down his life in the foundation of America.
Yet he's barely remembered, except in a history book. His efforts have slid into obscurity, and his legacy, well, there isn't much of one. Am I willing to labor in such a way? To work, strive, heal relationships, and never "repine"? (be discontented, from pine: suffer a mental/spiritual decline, originating in Latin poena 'punishment')
It's a question that's often asked in success classes and in other settings, but it's worth re-asking: What will people say about you when you're gone? What will people remember?
And how will you feel if people forget? The colonists moved on, found new leadership for the church and Hunt's name is in a list of the colonists, but is hardly highlighted as that important to America today.
If my obituary becomes something that is only seen on an old microfiche of the Stuttgart News, am I ok with that? I must confess, I'd like to be more famous than that. Today, I'm challenged to grow in maturity and accept life as an historical footnote.
William J. Federer, Great Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced According to Their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions (St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001).