leg·a·cy /ˈlɛg ə si/ [leg-uh-see]
noun, plural leg·a·cies.
1. Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
(courtesy of Dictionary.com)
All families have legacies. Sometimes we refer to them as “generational curses” as well. It’s unavoidable……we are human.
Some families pass down drinking and drug addictions; some pass down worry; for some it’s abuse; others, anger and violence; there are families that pass on learned behavior and those that pass on genetic anomalies; I know families who have handed down depression and also some that nurtured serious gambling problems; cancers have passed through families as well as diabetes; and of course we can’t forget the legacy of infidelity. The list could definitely go on and on.
The good news is, not all legacies have to be negative. We can also leave a legacy of love, grace, forgiveness, compassion, hope, encouragement, truth, understanding, forbearance and faithfulness.
That’s the legacy I intend to leave for my descendants.
It’s a choice I’m making. It’s not an easy choice by any means. It’s an uphill battle that I will fail at over and over. My flesh would prefer to quickly tell you off if you make me mad (at whatever expense); Human me would rather yell at my husband and blame him for my decision to get into the car and drive to the other side of the country. And while we are on the subject, I’m really partial to taking EVERYTHING personally, whether it has anything to do with me or not (what the heck is that about anyway?!?!). My fleshiness opts to be…..well, just plain selfish.
But (yes, sometimes “buts” can be good) thank the Almighty that I don’t have to be a slave to my sinful nature! When I feel myself getting worked up, all I have to do is call out to my Daddy and He will change my “baditude”. If I’m sinking in sadness because my earthly dad was taken before I was even half-way into life (no one ever told me that there is a physical pain that you feel) and all I want to do is scream, yell and demand him back…..God is right there with me the moment I ask and I can lay all the heaviness at His feet. If I’m afraid while my child is AWOL for 4 days (which BETTER not happen again!), I can hand my son to God and let him be in charge because He’s MUCH better at communicating with the kiddo than I am. Hmmmmm…..makes me think of a song from this group called Clear (love to listen to them). I’m not sure what the name of the song is, but it goes like this:
I wanted to live like you; I wanted to follow like the beggers walking at You while You were on the road
But still I’ve slipped between all the cracks the world can form without you watching as it pits you far below
You offered out Your hand to me, and I grabbed a hold to see
the darkness of the hole I’d found is nothing like Your light….now I’m free.
When I close my eyes I fall; life’s so tragic….not Your love at all; it’s like the water in the sea, locked inside my soul now I’m free
The rays were beating down when suddenly the storm clouds covered up the sky and rang the fisherman’s alarm
But He was silent sleeping; tucked in a corner. When they woke Him up He saw their fear and the wind and waves went calm
Like you made me calm when You offered out Your hand to me…………
The traits I want to be known for are not natural to me…..not in the slightest. When I leave this earth I want people to think of God’s light shining through me whenever they talk about me. I want to bless people; not be a thorn in their side or an irritating nag. Someone gave me the best compliment I’ve ever had last August when I left VA. She thanked me for being real and for not ever judging her.
You see, that is one of my family’s legacies: how to judge others for their actions. For years I walked around with a tree sticking out of my eye (see my previous entry Thoughts from an Italian Restaurant) pointing out other people’s “mistakes” and “insufficiencies”, proudly announcing “I would never……(you fill in the blank). Who gave me the right to sit on my high horse looking down my nose at other sojourners here on this earth? Am I more important than my husband…neighbor…sister…grocery cashier…nail salon tech…the guy next to me at a stoplight?
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. 1 Chronicles 29:15 (KJV)
We aren’t here by accident; not a one of us. Even the scientists are rethinking their theories……because they see the flaws in their thinking. If there was no evidence of God’s existence except butterflies and sunsets, that would be proof enough for me. I can choose to acknowledge and have a relationship with my Creator or I can take no responsibility for my actions and continue to blame everyone else for my choices. It’s up to me.
This is the training ground for eternity. Why else would we have such differing talents and abilities? It all works together perfectly if you see it through God’s eyes. How very exciting it is to think about. I have no doubt that my dad and I will be playing the guitar and singing together for eternity (music is one of family’s legacies, too). We are being shaped and molded for our place in the kingdom and we are but a blink of an eye…a mere moment in the span of time.
I know what legacy I want to leave……..the choice is yours as well.