What is the legacy that you want to leave? I know many of us avoid talking about death, so we don’t really think about the impact we will leave once we are gone. But I believe it is so important as to how we live our lives today. At work, I have been planning a Mother’s Day campaign that pushes people to pray for moms. Mother’s Day is a touchy subject for many because they either have lost their moms or they don’t have the relationship they desire to have with their biological mothers. One lady commented yesterday saying that she enjoyed the prayers I was posting on our blog but she and her sister needed prayer because they’d lost their mom on Good Friday and it was their first Mother’s Day without her. That touched me deeply as a friend of mine recently lost her mom and another is without her mom, grandmother and first-born daughter. So I went ahead and crafted a special prayer just for her and posted it on the blog. I felt that not only she, but many others needed to be thought of, cared for and prayed for this weekend.
These dearly departed people left a lasting impact, a legacy within their families – whether good, bad or indifferent. The time spent, memories shared, laughs, hugs, and tears all mean something to those that they were in relationship with. When I think of legacy, I think of my maternal grandmother. I can look into my mom’s eyes and even look at myself in the mirror and see her. I can feel her presence even though she has been in heaven for 22 years. I know she is here. I can hear her voice guiding me. There are times when I am in my hometown and people know me because they knew her. They all have such great things to say about how she impacted them. How she made them feel important, or how hard she worked to raise her kids. More often than not they comment about her cooking and how she fed them or their kids. That is a legacy.
Earlier this year, my eldest uncle passed away. When we all gathered as a family – something we have not done in years – I knew both my grandmother and my uncle’s presence was there. I saw them in the laughs and smiles. The warm embraces and stories meant that much more to me because they all had a commonality. We all had a shared experience even though we have not all been around each other at once. This is legacy.
Matthew 6:19-21 tells us not to lay up for ourselves treasures in earthen vessels, but to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. For where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Think about the things you work toward each day. The tangible stuff you accumulate and covet so dearly. Will it matter next year? In 10 years? When you’re in heaven? What will people say about how you have impacted their lives? I have yet to hear someone brag about how much money a dead person had at their funerals. But what I have heard is how they were impacted by their generosity. Or how much it meant that they took their time with them. Even more, what it meant to have that person pour into them spiritually and emotionally.
Each of us has a gift – a treasure, if you will. How will you share it in the time that you have? I read a post on social media the other day that said “if you were handed an envelope and inside it had a paper with the date of your death on it, would you want to open it and read it?” A young lady commented and said, “I sure would. Because if I was supposed to die this year I’d quit my job today. No sense in wasting my time somewhere I hate to be.” I thought, WOW! What a statement?! Why aren’t we this intentional with our time and treasure, even though we don’t know when our last day will be? Why aren’t we so conscious of the legacy that we’re building?
I want to challenge you to meditate on the things you currently do, the things you wish you could do, and the people you want to impact. Write them down. Figure out which mindless things you are currently doing that can be eliminated. Determine how you can make happen the things you wish you could. And chart a plan to leave a lasting legacy for those you feel inclined to touch. How will you impact someone else’s life for the better? Life is but a vapor. Make great use of your time.