Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Phil. 2:3-4
I want to leave a legacy for my children.
But, the thought overwhelms me. It makes me anxious and fearful and worried that I am doing everything wrong.
I mean, I have made too many mistakes. Said too many hurtful words. Not showed up enough. Not had enough patience. Not had enough forgiveness. Not had enough compassion.
If I look at the entirety of my life, I feel like trying to leave a legacy at this point is impossible.
Oh, but something has changed within my thought process. God has turned on a light in my heart about this that will forever change my legacy making mindset.
Here's what changed it...
The life of Jesus.
Jesus left for us the HUGEST legacy of all. Not one other human has left a legacy and a hope like Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
If I were to just focus on Who He is, it is overwhelming.
However, if I focus on His life and how He lived His life, something starts to unravel.
This big, huge, Legacy of a Man, was built upon his day to day life with regular, everyday people.
His friends, His disciples. Ordinary men. Several of them fisherman.
His parents. Ordinary.
His town. Small and very ordinary.
His congregation. Small.
His following during His lifetime. Small.
The people He touched and healed--the forgotten, the sick, the diseased, the hated, the sinners....
Yet, His Legacy-is HUGE. Eternal. Worldwide. Limitless. Timeless.
How could this be?
This is what I think....
He took great concern and care for the people right around him. He didn't go out trying to get famous, to make big splashes, to make a name for Himself...
He took care of the business at hand. A leper begging to be healed. A woman bleeding for years who touched the hem of His garment in a crowd of people. An adulterous woman he met at a well in Samaria. A demon possessed man. A blind man. A stubborn and hard-headed disciple [Peter].
Jesus made very personal interactions with very ordinary [and flawed] people. THAT'S what made His legacy HUGE and impactful.
Jesus spent His time well. There was enough work to be done right around Him to keep Him occupied with His calling. He was wise enough to know that the small things, are where the big things are found.
He was wise enough to know that His one on one dealings with people, would lead to the biggest change of heart. Crowds were not His thing. He knew the power of one heart changing. One heart changing creates a domino effect.
Jesus knew that everything He did in the heart of one, would have a reaction and would make a world-wide ripple for the Hope of many.
What if we had the same mindset as Jesus?
What if we looked at our legacy on a smaller level?
Instead of thinking how it will look years from now, how about if we think of how it looks TODAY?
What choices am I making today to build a legacy for my people?
What words am I saying, or not saying, to build a legacy?
What love, or lack of love am I showing?
What grace am I showing to those around me, or am I constantly demanding my own happiness to be upheld?
Who am I intentionally investing in for their betterment instead of my own?
Am I even present in my day? Or am I constantly distracted by the demands of striving for "better", or "more".
We often seek quantity over quality. This is the exact opposite of Jesus' life.
Sometimes I can totally miss out on the joy of the present when I am anxious about the many things I have to do. When I do this, I suffer. And my people suffer. An opportunity missed. Again.
Jesus had no concern over His needs. He scheduled His life around the needs of others. Every moment was filled with the showing of His love, compassion, joy, healing, ministering, teaching of others.
That's what leaving a legacy looks like.
How are you treating your people at home? They are the ones that you are leaving a legacy for.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Be a giver.
With your people.
The impact will be greater than you can ever imagine.
** I finished this post and had to come back and add this. As I wrote this, I kept thinking of my mother. She is leaving a huge legacy behind. She's not famous. She's not well-known. She's not a professional anything. But, she's present. Always. I know that I can call her at any time of day and she is there for me. She will drop whatever she is doing to be with me or help me. [tears] Yesterday, I casually hinted that I was craving her cooking. She told me to come over tonight and she will cook anything I want.[I cannot wait!] My mother knows her place, and she knows it well. She takes good care of her people. The ones right in front of her. The needs are many right in her very own family. She's making an impact on my life and the life of my children. What a legacy.