Talking about legacy

Published 7:29 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I’m talking about legacy. Most normal human beings want to leave something worthwhile as they depart from this temporal world. In reality, however, only a small fraction of people in any generation will leave anything that will long be remembered.

Of all the musicians in the world, both performers and composers, only a fraction of them are well known. And only a very small number of them will leave a lasting impression on the world of music.

Repeating, most of us want to leave some kind of positive legacy. Consequently, I want to share with you six practical guidelines for doing just that-leaving a good legacy.

First, prayer. The late Henri Nouwen wrote a book called “Gracious.” It is a journal of his experiences in Latin America. Commenting on the significance of his daily devotion, he shared, “Without this one-hour a day for God, my life loses its coherence and I start experiencing my days as a series of random incidents and accidents.” If we daily reach out to God in prayer, we will not get careless about our lives. 

Second, involvement. We will never leave much of a legacy if we don’t stay involved. Be passionate about every situation you believe to be the will of God.

Third, humility. Prideful people never leave much of a legacy. It’s the humble people we always remember and admire. 

Fourth, perspective. Perspective means taking on jobs that are really worth doing. Perspective refuses to be seduced by our culture’s obsession with short-results. Big jobs have to do with spreading neighborliness, justice, unity and peace. 

Fifth, kindness. Kindness is many things. It’s how we treat friends and strangers and teachers. It’s how we drive our automobiles, respond to clerks and remember important dates in someone’s life. It’s a thoughtful word, a warm smile, an encouraging email and a little more patience.

Sixth, love. To be sure of a good legacy, undoubtedly, the most important guideline is love. This the first legacy of Jesus, and it cost him his life.

What Jesus left for us is the love of the Father. I’m speaking of the forgiving, creative love that will stand forever in a world of prejudice and hatred. It’s a legacy that values highly the godly nature of our relationships with our fellow human beings. 

Anne Lamott noted that in her pastor’s sermon, the pastor quoted Dr. Martin Luther King’s word’s, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can.” 

So what is the legacy we will leave behind? 

Jesus left a legacy of love and so should we.