Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Kind of a Legacy Will You Leave?

When you think of what is important to you, what comes to mind? Your career? Your family? Your relationships? All of these things are important; but, how will people remember you?

I guess I am thinking of this because my husband's father passed away a week ago, on June 22nd. His life was a life well lived. He and his wife were missionaries in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. He taught at Vanguard University (when it was known as Southern California College) and worked as Director of International Ministries at CBN, where he retired. In each one of these rolls he was developing and training leaders in their call of ministry. His children have all followed their father's example in serving Christ and he leaves an awesome legacy of love for God and His work; in addition to a great love, compassion and concern for his family.

He was the epitome of Mt. 22:37-39, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...Love your neighbor as yourself." NIV Bob did this. He loved people. Now, he did embarrass the family, at times, when he was just being friendly. To strike up conversation, he would make a comment about an earring that wasn't in the ear, or a tatoo. Sometimes the comments, made to be comical, could have gotten him into tough situations; but, he wasn't doing it out of meanness, he was doing it to try to connect with the person. He honestly loved people. He made a friend everywhere he went. We all have our ways; but, the majority of his life was loving people and that included his family. He would do anything for his family.

I look at his life...the many travels around the world he took, not only to enjoy, but preach the gospel, the way he loved and provided and took care of his wife, and the way he prayed for his children and grandchildren. That is an awesome legacy.

Looking at his life causes me to take a good look at my own life. Am I showing a love for Christ in all that I do? Am I more concerned about what I am doing and how it is going to turn out, than I am with my relationships with people and even my relationship with Christ? How are people going to remember me? Will I like what they think about me after I am gone?

If we keep those two questions at the forefront of our mind everyday, I believe it would revolutionize the way we do life in general. Sure, set goals and strive to reach them. Enjoy what God has given you. Just don't forget to love God with all your heart, soul and mind; and the people you come in contact with every day as you love yourself. Grasp Mt. 22:37-39, wrap it around mind, plant it in your heart. Live it out daily. Wake up thinking about it. Go to bed thinking about the verses. The last question you should ask yourself before collapsing on your pillow is, "Did I show how much I love God today, by going out of my way to love someone...someone that is hard to love?"

Take that thought with you and change the way you live your life.

Have a Blessed and Loving Day!

1 comment:

Janna Rust said...

Hi Cheryl...Thanks for hooking up on Facebook. Any friend of Deborah Shank's is a friend of mine. :)

You and I also share the same passion-supporting others in ministry. I really like your post here about a legacy and the challenges you left your readers.

Here's another question that helps my clients with attaching to a greater goal/purpose. I have them pretend they are writing their "Life Achievement Award", you know, like what big stars with lots of longevity get at the Oscars, and ask them what they would want presented.

Just my two cents. :)