When one moves after 33 years, we realize how many things need to be replaced. There are the obvious items like Doctors, Dentists, and Mechanics, but there are also coffee shops and BBQ places. I just replaced my barber.
I have been replaced at work, several times, and companies move on without missing a beat. I stopped coaching high school football, and someone filled those shoes. I stepped down from a local non-profit Board, and someone else picked up the mantle and ran with it.
Succession. Queen Elizabeth has been replaced by King Charles. Joe Montana was replaced by Steve Walsh. David Lee Roth was replaced by Sammy Hagar. Even on the TV show Bewitched, Darrin Stephens (Dick York) was replaced by Darrin Stephens (Dick Sargent). A phrase often used in sports is, “Next Man Up.”
Being replaced is an outcome of moving on, either to new roles in this life or ultimately from this life to eternal life. Life is full of being replaced. I accept being replaced, never looking back including leaving one job on the cusp of a 5-million-dollar order that the next guy inherited (your welcome, Gene!).
In the task of replacement, the new person builds off what was there. The remnants create the foundation for new growth. Steve Young and Sammy Hagar stepped into situations where their predecessor left a great situation. My new barber built off the information I learned from my pervious one, “#4 blade on the side.” I discovered my new coffee shop by smelling coffee beans being roasted while I parked on a grocery store run, I knew what that smell meant from my old coffee place that roasted its own beans.
Generally, “roles” are what is being replaced, not our being. Lincoln was replaced as President, but his character and courage were no longer present. I can be replaced as a Business Development professional, a neighbor, even a coach; but if I do things right then my presence should be felt and linger on for a while. I feel strongly that my legacy lives on in the companies and places I left because I was intentionally focused on my being more than just doing the job. I read an obituary of a retired woman and although someone filled her role, “her reliable and helpful function was never really replaced.” People who mean something to others are never replaced. My Dad has never been replaced.
One of my favorite movies to watch with my young children was Toy Story. At Pixar, the story is the most important piece of the production. This is a classic story about being replaced by somebody. A big contributing factor to the film’s success is that everybody fears or encounters that emotion at some point in their life. None of us are exempt from being replaced, including Woody.
In researching this blog, I learned about “Cronos Syndrome,” the fear of being replaced by someone else or other people in an area of our life that’s important to us. Cronos Syndrome can be related to envy and jealousy of other people’s achievements. I can honestly say I have never suffered from Cronos Syndrome. When values are aligned with our life purpose, then we know that we will be replaced. Someone else will come along and build on our accomplishments. Positions and titles are temporary and are gifts from God as part of His plan.
“People will replace you and will forget your good works, but the Lord will always remember, He will always do something not for you to be replaced but to be in use for His glory because He made you wonderfully and marvelously.” ― Jennifer Aquillo
Christian Scholars present the Beatitudes as a replacement of Mosaic law. To me, the Beatitudes are a continuation of Mosaic law and build on the Ten Commandments. Jesus rewrote what God requires of us to recapture the intent of God’s heart. The Beatitudes focus on how to treat other people. Jesus knew our relationships with each other matters. The Beatitudes don’t replace Mosaic law. Matthew 5:3-12 intentionally echoes the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1-14. The Beatitudes are the essence of loving others. They create a foundation for new growth in others.
We are going to be replaced. It is inevitable. In the words of Blood, Seat, and Tears; “And when I die and when I’m dead, dead and gone, there’ll be one child born in this world to carry on, to carry on.” The point is to make it matter. We were here and made a difference. That one child can replace us and build upon what we have done.