On Wednesday about this time I imagine many of us will be glad the election is over.
Not necessarily because we will know who the next president will be (depending on the closeness of the race it could take some time to sort it out), but because we will finally be on the other side of the campaign media blitz. Even my 7-year-old son mentioned he would be glad when the campaign ads ended.
During the campaign, however, much of the rhetoric from each side has been about what legacy a candidate has left or will leave if elected.
Which got me to thinking . . .
What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?
I am currently planning a memorial service, and I expect to hear stories about a loved one who impacted their family in various ways before moving on. Personally, I always enjoy that part of funerals and memorial services because the stories are usually beautiful and inspiring to me.
This morning, however, I was looking through the paper and came across the obituaries. These statements were matter-of-fact recordings of birth date, date of death, survived by, moved here and there, and was a member of this or that social group. In contrast to the services these statements were sparse and un-inspiring.
Granted, newspaper statements can be shortened and perfunctory at times, but I do not want my legacy to read like a newspaper obit. I want to hear several things:
- God is pleased with how I lived and used what he gave to me. Ultimately, his opinion is the only one that matters.
- My family is inspired to live more like Christ and to love each other and others well.
- Others are impacted in a positive way by the way I lived and used what God gave to me. And by impacted positively, I mean they grew spiritually and personally, not that they had a good feeling or benefitted monetarily from me. (Let’s be honest. I am a professional musician; I doubt anyone is going to benefit monetarily from me!)
I find that defining my desired legacy often helps me put the present into focus. If you know where you want to go you will be able to figure out how to get there and whether or not you are making progress in the right direction.
What legacy do you want to leave behind?