Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What Legacy Will I Leave?

Several weeks ago, this Facebook ad caught my attention. What really impacted me was the last line of the video: "I can't think of anything that'll make me happier". If you can spare a minute, take a look at the video below.

As a father, I cherish the special moments and the shared interests that I have with my children, and on some level I can appreciate the sentiment expressed by this advertisement. I hope that my children will continue to take on some of the hobbies and interests that I enjoy, so that we can share them together. Some of my favorite memories involve spending time outdoors and playing music with my children. But to say that nothing could make me happier? If, when all is said and done, the best thing I've done for my children is to impart a love of music or camping or airplanes, then I will have done them a great disservice. Those things will pass away, but there are others that will last for eternity.

But even as I am tempted to watch this video with contempt, having spiritual things in mind, I have to face the reality of my own life. Am I doing all that I can to instill in my family a love for God and a selfless, sacrificial love for others? Am I even living my own life in a way that is consistent with my stated priorities? Am I doing any better than the guy who lives his life for trains, sports, music, or anything else that will pass away? 

I'm thankful that God has given us many things to enjoy here on this planet. And I don't believe that we should live under the weight of guilt for all the things that we could or should have done; God has extended grace to us and we ought to live in that. On the other hand, He has prepared good works for us to do as an outflow of that grace-filled life. We are stewards of this life and everything with which He has entrusted us, including our families. Yet I am so easily distracted by the things of the world!

Lord, help me—and those readers who desire to follow you—to live our lives not for what will perish, but for those things that are eternal. Let us leave a legacy to our children that is so much greater than trains or airplanes or sports: a legacy that will bear fruit for generations to come, and even into eternity.

This eternal legacy is not something I can create and accomplish on my own; rather it's wrapped up in what Christ has done. There are many passages from Scripture that come to mind when I think about living with eternity it mind. Interestingly many of them are also in the context of the hope we have through times of suffering, but that's a post for another day! I will end this post by simply sharing two passages. I encourage you to consider the legacy that you will leave with these things in mind!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I Peter 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.