Building a legacy

A family friend passed away unexpectedly this weekend and Facebook lit up with hundreds of people who knew him remembering the impact he had on their lives. I was struck by what a wonderful legacy this man left behind – he had a positive influence on thousands, but more importantly as I read the Facebook comments I realized that he had actually changed the way many of us think and how we see the world.

Everyone, no matter how wide or small his circle of influence, leaves a legacy of some sort. Isn’t it worth it to consider what sort of mark you’re leaving on the world? What sort of impact do you want to have on your family, your community, your culture and generations to come? What is the work that God set out in advance for you to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10)?

I think it’s important to think about these things, rather than just vaguely meandering through life. After all, as the saying goes, “if you aim at nothing, you’ll always hit it.” I don’t believe it’s possible to have it all, do it all, or be it all in this life: of necessity every “yes” you say in one direction means a “no” to another path. And yet, I think real joy comes from having, doing, and being all that YOU are uniquely called to have, do, and be. Your legacy will look different from mine, and the paths we take will probably not be parallel, but I trust that we will both hear “well done, good and faithful servant” when our work is done.

This week I’m reflecting on legacy, and how we can look for ways to build a legacy spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically (yes, Greystone girls, the four-fold way!). I’m interested to hear your thoughts – what sort of legacy do you want to leave and how are you building it?

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