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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 12

Day 12. The Letter L for Legacy.

I was honored recently to sit in my pastor’s study and learn more about the legacy of our church. He was kind enough to write an article about the time capsule that was found during a reconstruction project and how First Baptist Tulsa has impacted our city for more than one hundred years. I’d love for you to read Deron Spoo’s inspiring story on Inspire a Fire. 
Talking with Deron made me think more about the concept of legacy, and I think it’s something to ponder during this month of Thanksgiving.

What sort of legacy will you leave for future generations? What will be your personal mark on the world? For some, it might be building an empire, getting your name on a plaque on the side of the building, or having a vaccine that eradicated a terrible disease named after you. The majority of us leave a mark that is far less grandiose and yet, in the big scheme, every bit as important. Raising a child, enduring a debilitating disease, teaching a classroom of students to read, holding the hand of a parent who’s just lost a child. When others observe you in action, an impression is made, and over the course of a lifetime, many small impressions become your legacy.

From my parents, I learned about Jesus and faith, the importance of being honest, and gained confidence that I could accomplish whatever I put my hand to. From my grandparents, I have the examples of strong family loyalty and the value of hard work that led them to survive the Great Depression. During this Thanksgiving season, I’m grateful for a strong heritage, for the fact that I knew all of my grandparents and several of my great grandparents.

And now I’m a grandparent myself. It doesn’t seem possible, but life passes at such warp speed that it makes me dizzy, and I wonder what possible impact I’m having on the world and on my family. I’m nearly certain that I won’t be remembered in future generations as a scholar or writer who changed the world. A few people may be blessed by my books, but the greater scope will probably be passed down through the family. When it’s all said and done, I pray my legacy is positive and that people say I wasn’t afraid to look life in the eye and accept new challenges, that I gave it my all, that I spoke up when I needed to, and that I shared the love of Jesus. I’ve been a miserable failure many times with those very things, but at the end of my life, I would feel honored to have the epitaph on my tombstone read, “She tried.”

What sort of legacy are you leaving? How do you want people to remember you?

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