It is innate in all of us to want to leave something behind when we leave this world. We want to be remembered and not forgotten. This is the focus of today’s devotion (Leaving a Legacy) and is something I have been thinking a lot about.
There are many ways people try to leave something of themselves behind, and this desire is not limited to Christians either. They make donations to their favorite colleges or charitable organizations. They form charitable organizations of their own to fund causes they care about. Ever since I miscarried my third child five years ago, I have been struck by the number of organizations I have come in contact with that were set up in memory of a child or children that were lost.
It is not just by donating money that people seek to be remembered. People who have a creative bent have a natural way to make sure they’re remembered. This can be through the work they complete during their lifetime. How different would our lives be today if we hadn’t been exposed to Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, or Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I could name thousands more, but it’s not necessary. We remember all these people because of the work they produced.
Another way people seek to leave a legacy is by their families. If a person has children and grandchildren, they seek to pass all of the stories about their family down to them. It is the way they make memories and then seek to be remembered. This is why stories are told at funerals–as a way to remember the person who is gone and the legacy they left behind.
People also volunteer as a way of leaving a legacy. I’m not sure if they think of it in that way at the time. But the urge to help others and not get any benefit can be nurtured into a growing flame which turns into a legacy when the person is gone.
Then, there’s the church. A chance to leave behind something of eternal significance–not only through monetary contributions, but through volunteering and telling others about Christ. Eternal significance. Leading someone to Christ can change another person’s life forever. I’m not sure we realize that in all the hustle and bustle of our lives. Everything else I’ve mentioned today will eventually be forgotten, but having someone in heaven with you because you told them about Jesus is the best kind of legacy to leave.
I will never have a lot of money to give–to the church or to anywhere else. Buildings will not be named after me. I won’t be remembered because of the amount of money I gave. I am hopeful though that I will be remembered because of the words I share, because of my children, and because I took the time to tell someone about Jesus.
God’s blessings on all of you today!