Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wanna Leave a Legacy?

I clearly like to talk.

I enjoy sharing my stories with those I meet and love hearing the thousands of interesting stories I get to hear in return.

And something I’ve noticed as I continue to talk?

Everyone else likes to talk.

It is a common thread amongst all of society that we enjoy those moments where we get to share that little piece of ourselves with someone else. We get to make a connection with a stranger, a friend, a co-worker. We have the unique opportunity to create a moment that will not and cannot be duplicated, however insignificant it may seem.  But the truth is, we all like to talk, because we all like to be remembered.

When we share our story with someone else, we become a unique character in that person’s story as well. We are no longer individuals, but part of the greater thread of intertwining lives that is this earth, that is humanity. And it is through our interactions with others, our unique relationships that we create and share, that we truly become significant and are truly able to take advantage of the great opportunity we have to share the greatest story of all. The one story that truly defines us.

The story of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

When you think about the legacy you want to leave, what does it involve? Does it center around some great career goal? Do you envision a long line of ancestors? Truly, these are all significant achievements and can all accumulate to become a part of our living legacy. But what about the bigger picture? When you leave this world, will it ultimately be better than when you entered it because you were here?

So often, when I talk with other Christians, I find many times focus is on the things we aren’t doing as somehow qualifying us as “good enough” to be in the presence of Christ. You’re not cheating, you’re not lying, you’re not stealing, you aren’t disobeying the laws, both heavenly and otherwise, and that somehow defines you as a child of God. I wholeheartedly believe that this perspective is not even half of the bigger picture.

Let me begin with an example. When you are asked what you do for a living, do you begin with a long list of the things you don’t? If I, let's say as a writer, answered that question by saying that I am not a carpenter, I am not an electrician, and I am not an actress, would you feel satisified by my response? I wouldn’t think so. You would continue to ask what title I use to define my work self until I gave a definitive answer of who I am and what I do.

By the same token, while we do not define ourselves in Christ by what job title we hold, I do believe we are defined by what we do.  If I were to answer how I worship and glorify the Lord each and every day, I do not believe a list of things I do not do would suffice. It is in the ways I approach my everyday tasks that I worship the Lord. It is in the way I approach those around me that I glorify His name. It is in my constant endeavour to shine His light in the world that I define myself.

With that said,I would like to propose a challenge. Look at the legacy you are leaving. Look at how you are defining yourself each and every day in the little things you do. Keep focusing on your goals, they challenge you, and keep life interesting and fun.

But sometimes, just once in a while, breathe, and realize what’s really important in your story. This will help you write it.

I’ll be working on this too.

My Inspiration:

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