Wednesday, April 23, 2008

what sort of legacy will you leave?

i've been thinking a lot about legacy lately. maybe it has to do with thoughts of my father who passed away one year ago last week. i can think of the legacy that he left for me. i can think of the impact he made on others. i can think of the number of persons he mentored - men and women who would eventually follow the Lord's leading as they entered into ministry. but this post isn't really about my father. i honor him and we paid respects to him when we visited the grave this week - but this post is about us... me... you... whoever you are.

what sort of legacy will i leave? what sort of legacy will you leave?

while visiting the cemetery where my dad was laid to rest i couldn't help but look around at all of the other grave sites. some have been there for over two centuries. men who fought and died in the Great American Revolution and in the Civil War; babies who died months after birth, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands wives; some lived long, some not. with each stone placed in the ground a legacy goes with it.... a story... some untold, forgotten or too far in the past for anyone to know. but there was a legacy left there in the burrows of the green grass.

what were there stories? did they live productive lives? did they struggle with the same struggles as you and i? was life simpler for them? what did they stress about... rejoice about? did they know Christ and follow his teachings? did they have faith and if so, was it visible, plain and seen by one and all?

were they heroic or drunkards? housewives or heretics? what was their vice... their tragic flaw?

What was their legacy? did they even think about what kind of example they were leaving behind and how it might impact the world?

we know of the legacies of so many. Martin Luther King left us a legacy of peace and equality. johnny Cash left us a legacy of music and raw emotion that will sustain us for many years to come. Mother Teresa left us a legacy of service. Bill Gates a legacy of technology. I could go on. So could you. but again - it's not about them. it's now about us.

what legacy will we leave?

in the movie Meet the Fockers (yeah - i'm referencing that movie in a post about legacy...) Greg's future father in law (Jack - played by Robert DeNiro) asks what's truly important in life. Greg replies "love... friendship." Jack reminds him that leaving a legacy behind is of the utmost importance. Jack doesn't want a 'chink in the chain' of his families lineage.

Love... friendship. kind of sounds a lot like what Jesus said was most important...
  1. Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22:36-40

Love God. Love People. it's that simple. that should be the foundation of our legacy.

Peter gives further instruction on leaving a legacy.

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?

1 Peter 3:8-13

another fine reminder. what legacy will we leave? what example will we set? what stories will people tell about us and how might those stories further the kingdom of God?

Now playing: Portishead - Glory Box
via FoxyTunes

No comments: