WHAT KIND OF LEGACY ARE WE LEAVING?
Have you ever thought about that? Have you wondered what, if anything, anyone will remember you for after you’re gone? Even your family members? I know my kids won’t give a rip that the clothes in my closet were arranged in the spectrum order of colors. Most people won’t know I ever existed. For those who do, it won’t affect them as they go about their daily lives. Stop! Think about what you’d like to be remembered for. What did you do to show the world you existed?
Every day for months now, I have waked up in the mornings with a vague sense of disquieting malaise. Every day, the news has been increasingly more violent, vitriolic, and depressing. The political atmosphere has progressed from an exchange of differing opinions, to an angry battle of vicious words, to a violent war of riots, murders, and attempted murders. The atmosphere on the city and town streets across our nation is charged with intolerance and hatred. Yesterday, a truck was shot at because it had an American flag on display and a political banner the shooter didn’t agree with. An AZ congresswoman was threatened with death from someone of a different political persuasion. Our social fabric is breaking down, too. Families are failing. There is a war against our police. Just today, a friend of mine was assaulted as she rode her bicycle. She happens to be a racing biker, so she was able to avoid the assailant’s two attempts to grab her, and was not hurt. She got away, but so did the assailant. Sadly, he will try this on someone else because he was not caught. The same is happening on a much larger scale with world events. Most who perpetrate this mayhem might believe they are doing the right things for their agenda, but they will not be remembered kindly in the annals of history, either worldly, or heavenly. Through it all, the silent majority does nothing. Most don’t know what to do. Many are fearful they or their families will be targeted if they speak out.
This news junkie has been forced to turn off the TV for days at a time because it’s too much of a downer to watch or listen to. I recently swore off the internet for several weeks because of the same thing. I have severely limited my usage since I’ve returned. I wonder what will happen as our neighborhoods and country are being torn apart. So, what’s a person to do? Will I be part of the problem, or part of the solution?
I can’t tell anyone else what to do, but I can answer that question about what has worked for me. I do what God prompts me to do. If I don’t do that, or put it off, I find myself restless, dissatisfied, bored, and wondering what to do next to fill the empty time. I have discovered that I am happiest and fully at peace within when I am fulfilling His agenda instead of mine. God gives us gifts and natural talents, and the passions to use them for His glory. They were not placed in us to hide away unused, but to be developed. I gave up art several times over the last forty years. Once for ten years, once for five and another for four years, other times for two years or less. Each time, I thought the reasons why were more compelling than the art. Each time, I was unhappy. There’s a message here!
I found that I am not fully alive, not fully engaged, and not fully at peace with myself in spite of the sorry state of the world, unless I’m doing what God has given me to do. He gave me a book to write about twelve Biblical women, and how they found peace in the turmoil of their world. It’s God’s job to take care of the world; it’s my job to tell these women’s stories. Their stories are timeless! Their examples have given me peace! Painting them and writing about them has given me purpose! Surely, if I follow His directions, what I’m doing will help others make life-changing decisions and find their own peace in the midst of turmoil. That is my prayer. That is what I hope will be my legacy.
The woman who anointed Jesus left a powerful legacy, and we don’t even know her name! But, she is remembered forever. Every one of us has a powerful legacy to leave, whether it’s for family and friends, or for a larger audience. Will it edify, or will it vilify? Oh, my goodness! Tonight I’m feeling a lot like that woman must have felt! Finding peace in the turmoil!