Legacy . . .
It's a loaded word . . .
It speaks of significance . . .
And it's a word I've been thinking about a lot in the last week.
It started when my Mom asked if she could borrow my Raggedy Ann doll to use as a reference in making one for me niece. The worn and well-loved doll sits on a shelf now. When I picked her up off the shelf memories came flooding back.
My Grandma made the doll. And the day I picked it up off that shelf to take it to my Mom was two years to the day since she passed away.
In the week since, I've been reflecting on the legacy my Grandma left. I had times when I wished I would have known her better, when I wished I could have done more things with her. But distance and differences in the kinds of lives we lived made it difficult to relate sometimes.
One thing I always knew I could count on though, was that she prayed for me regularly. She did for all of her grandchildren. I knew when she told me she was praying for me, it was true.
The truth is that I've been incredibly blessed to have great-grandparents and grandparents who have prayed for and still are praying for me each day. I haven't always realized that as the privilege it is, but it's something I wouldn't trade for anything now.
As my great-grandparents and my Grandma have passed, I have grown in my understanding of the legacy of being people of prayer that have left and are continuing to leave with their lives. A legacy that lasts and is significant.
All of this has made me start to wonder about the legacy my life will leave. Not in a morbid way, but with a sense of wanting to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in how I live my life. I don't want my legacy to be one of making a name for myself, but on of pointing people to Jesus everyday in all I say and do.
And that makes a difference in the things I do and say now. It humbles me before God because I can't do any of it on my own then. It all has to be Him.
That's what it was for my great-grandparents and my Grandma. I watched them do what they did for God even if no one else noticed. And it's something I still watch my grandparents do today.
That's the kind of legacy I want to have - whether it is one day for my own kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids or for the people God calls me to serve in my work and my church ministry.
Scripture talks about this kind of living.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." (1 Peter 5:6)
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." (James 4:10)
The more I reflect on this, the more I feel that these verses speak clearly to the kind of godly legacy we should want to leave behind. It starts with humbling ourselves before God so that He can do His work in and through us. It's not about us trying to do something significant; it's about being willing to be used by God the way He chooses.
What kind of a legacy do you want to leave?
Are you willing to begin by humbling yourself before God so He can use you in His ways?