Comedian and actor Leland Klassen plays ultra-marathon legend David Horton in EXTRAORDINARY, a film that helped him better understand what a lasting legacy really looks like.
Not long before I got the call to play the role of David Horton in EXTRAORDINARY, I began to pray about the legacy I was going to leave behind. In my early years, I was all about leaving my mark on the world. That is a big reason why I became a stand-up comedian in the first place. I like making people laugh for sure, but I also really liked the attention I got when I was on a stage.
One of my early motivations came from my brother doubting I would get my own comedy show. A dose of reality? Yes. A summary of what friends and family were thinking? Probably. Fuel for the motivation to succeed so that I could show everyone I was special? Embarrassingly, yes.
I’d like to think that I had the right motivations when I started doing comedy, that it was a great calling I felt on my life, that I just wanted to use the tools that God gave me to glorify Him. While those are certainly things I feel now and that I see in my life now, my early intentions were not so noble.
I began to start praying about my family and for the generations to come. All I wanted was a legacy of my family being fully devoted followers of God through Christ Jesus. I realized the only legacy that meant anything was the generations that followed.
If I expected my kids to serve God with their whole hearts, I needed to lead by example and do that myself. How could I possibly expect my kids to give their whole hearts to God, if I’m not even doing it myself?
I discovered it always comes down to serving God with your whole heart. If you’re passionately pursuing God with everything that you have, your legacy and your passion would be one in the same.
If your goal is not about how to break an ultra-marathon running record, become a famous comedian or being a great father and husband, but fully following God with all your heart, strength, mind, and soul, the result will be that when you run, you run for God with all your heart, and as a father, you do your absolute best to raise those children and so honor God.
If I diligently serve God with my whole heart, I leave a legacy for my children to follow.
God is faithful. I just need to serve Him with my whole heart. If I’m working toward that goal, my passion becomes my legacy as well and God is honored through that. I might even get to play a role in a movie that encourages people to do the same, and that’s a pretty cool bonus.
EXTRAORDINARY is an ideal movie to encourage couples to go the distance in their marriages. Plan now to bring a group of 10 or more from your church, alumni association, marriage ministry, neighborhood or workplace. This one-night event will be in theaters Thursday, September 7 ONLY. Tickets are available at ExtraordinaryMovie.com