This blog represents part of the notes from my last sermon "edited to fit your screen." It is my second blog on the topic of leaving a legacy. The concept of legacy is profoundly powerful and significant, and worth revisiting. By definition, it is “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:” To put it simply, it’s what we pass along to the next generation. Our legacy is our gift to future generations.
As we live and exist we are currently creating and cultivating our legacy. I like to believe that we can be intentional about the legacy we choose to leave for those who come behind us. Stop and think for a moment—really think. If today were your last day, what type legacy would you want to leave behind? Are you cultivating the legacy you wish to leave behind? If not, what are you willing to do to make sure that you leave a legacy that will positively impact generations. Truth be told, a long list of titles in front of or behind your name is not your legacy. The amount of money you leave in the bank after you pass on is not your legacy. A legacy is the seeds you plant to feed, shelter, and nurture generations that you may NEVER see. Some will leave a good legacy and some will leave a negative legacy….but we all will leave a legacy.
Let’s take a couple steps back. Before we can really delve into our legacy, we must realize that we are a part of a rich and powerful legacy that was established from the beginning of time. I am not trying to stroke your ego right now but I want you to know the truth of who you are. You are the heritage of the Lord—Love, peace, joy, humility, compassion, faithfulness, goodness, grace, and mercy. That is the cloth you are cut from --the finest cloth. You come from good stock. You breathe the breath of God. Galatians 3:29 tells us that “if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”
But, did you know that a legacy is not ONLY what you past on for the future, but it is ALSO what you pass on from your past. We must remember where God has brought us. We weren’t always where we are. Sometimes our legacy of perfection is unreal. I guess if we tell ourselves that we’ve had a perfect past long enough, we actually start believing it. But, when our children cross the same rivers that we had to cross over they DROWN because we didn’t tell them how we made it over…we didn’t warn them about the pitfalls, …we didn’t show them the secret routes and detours.
In our society, we no longer live to leave a legacy. We live and work for the comforts of here and now. This is evident in the way that we build our homes and make our car and our clothes and our shoes. We live in a toss and go society – a disposable society. No one takes the time to build anymore – we simply assemble. Furniture used to last for generations and become antiques. Have you ever stopped to realize that this generation will have very few antique pieces? Why? Because we don’t keep anything or make anything worth keeping. It is only made for our current pleasure. We want instant gratification. We just want it to look good to people who don’t understand our heritage and our legacy. We want it to look good – we don’t’ care about substance as long as it looks good.
Psalms 127 1:1-2 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
It takes time to build a home that will last decades. In the same way, it takes time to build a spiritual home that can be passed on to future generations.
What will your legacy be?
It's Thanksgiving Day 2016 at about 11:43p.m. The dust has finally settled. Everyone is either back in their respective homes or gently tucked into bed. As for me, the alarming silence awakens my thoughts and I am recounting the day. Like a reel of film swiftly rewound, I gingerly recall the events of the day. As many of you can attest, the hustle and bustle, baking and boiling, cutting and chopping of meaningful days like today unconsciously strips away its significance. I am determined not to just celebrate a day and call it Thanksgiving Day, but I am determined to be Thankful --consciously thankful. God has been too good to me for me to spend the day superficially giving thanks without stopping and making a conscious effort to say Thank You! I think it befits me to stop and connection my actions to my heart and express genuine gratitude.
Today I am thankful:
1. For Wisdom - Someone once said, "wise people ask for wisdom." I've had some really tough decisions to make recently and I am wise enough to know that I need God's wisdom. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5 As I grow older, the wisdom of God allows me to see with greater clarity. And more than anything, I see how much I need God. How much I rely on God. He alone is my help. He will send people to walk along side me, encourage me, and/or advise me, but ultimately I've got to know how to hear from him FIRST. "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." Prov. 4:7.
2. For my Family - This little 5 year old who is crawled up next to me is giving me the most life right now! Even though in the senselessness of his slumber he periodically flaps his feet and arms onto my keyboard, I secretly find delight in having to move his foot off of my keyboard and onto the bed. I look at his little feet, clasp them into my hands, and reminisce for a moment to a time when family was tangibly distant. "We are a family," is what I think to myself. With family comes belonging. Not only does he belong, I BELONG. I belong to him and I also belong go HIM. Today I am entirely grateful that God took me from a place of obscurity to a place of belonging -- naturally and spiritually. That's a whole lot to be grateful for.
3. For my Struggles - Travis Greene sings the song that has been my anthem since the first time I heard it. God did me a favor. A gigantic, massive favor. Here's what he did: When he made a way in my life, --"don't know how...but when He did it," he left HIS handprint. "Why is this important?" That is important because I still can't figure out for the life of me how God was able to fix it, change it, rearrange it, or make it work. However, when I look back over my struggles and how I overcame -- I see God's handprint ALL OVER IT! See, I may have thought that I fixed my own problem if He would have allowed me to come up with a solution. I may have thought that I was this incredibly brilliant and capable person who could do without a savior if he didn't allow me to get to a place where I was at a loss. Every open door out of a struggle leads me back to God--his handprint is there every step of the way. Every escape, every breakout, and every breakthrough lead me back to God. Yep you guessed it, his handprint is there every step of the way.
"You made a way
When our backs were against the wall
And it looked as if it was over
You made a way
And we're standing here
Only because you made a way"
One really thankful, incredibly grateful girl