Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Only Legacy Worth Leaving

The first time I heard this song I was twenty years old, sorting out the facts of my life, and trying to figure out how to really walk with God, rather than just believe in Him. It was one song on a compilation album I bought at a used CD place in town. That cd set became the soundtrack for my early twenties along with a couple of others. But this song found a special place in my heart, it resonated with me. It will be one I will carry with me for the rest of my life not only because it inspires me but because it reminds me of people I love. Or better yet, people that have loved me.
I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
Child of mercy and grace who blessed your name unapologetically.
 I want to leave a legacy.

My grandparents will leave a legacy when their time on this old Earth is over. They have chosen to live for Christ so much so that they have come to embody and symbolize love itself. If God is love, and we are being made into Christ everyday through the power of the Spirit, then we are becoming love. I believe this to be true not because its a pretty idea but because I see two old souls becoming more and more like love everyday.

I've been irregularly blessed. I not only have my grandparents legacy to look to and draw from, but the legacies of others just like them. Today we laid to rest our dear friend and neighbor, Lester Pierce, a man who in just two short years became a source of inspiration and wisdom for Curtis and I. At the funeral I listened to person after person stand up and tell about the impact he had on their lives and I realized that somewhere I'd heard this before. And I realized it was everything I've said about my grandparents. And as I looked around the church I saw others that have lived in and will leave a similar legacy. These are the folks you don't necessarily notice as they teach Sunday school, organize funeral dinners, work with the youth, clean the church, drive the bus, plan activities for VBS, or get down on their knees everyday to do their best work in prayer. These people blend into the background sometimes with humility, meekness, and love being their defining characteristics. My grandmother gets down right flustered when people make a fuss over her contributions. She, like Lester, didn't do the work for the recognition--they did the work for the Lord. They did it out of love, first for Christ then for others because He loves them.

I've come to the conclusion that the best legacy that can be left is one of love. True love. Not The Princess Bride or The Notebook kind of true love.  We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.--1 John 3:16 This is true love. Love that sacrifices sleep, me-time, and self to serve the Lord, to help one another, to lend a hand, to say a prayer. When we give up our lives to help and serve with love in our hearts that is true love. And that is something sorely needed in the world today.

One by one these saints travel to heaven and we who have been so blessed to know them are left with their legacy in our care. I want to do right by them, and what I've learned is that the only way to do that is to do right by God. By keeping my eyes on the Cross and my feeted pointed toward Calvary and my heart broken for Him, I may just be counted among those who loved truly.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...