Recently, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our first child. As you’d imagine, the birth of our son has caused me to think about numerous things. I have thought about how our son’s personality will develop. I have thought about the steps we can take to create the best environment possible for him to realize his potential. While these reflections are normal, there’s another internal focus that has occupied my mind a lot since I have entered fatherhood. This internal focus can be encapsulated in the word legacy.
Most people think of a “legacy” in terms of fiscal or tangible resources left to a loved one in a will. However, the type of legacy I am referring to is not solely fiscal or tangible in nature. When I refer to legacy in this context, I am referencing the lasting impact that I will have on my son’s life. The definition of legacy I have in mind encompasses the memories and experiences my son and I will share that will be etched into his heart and carved into his mind that he will one day communicate to his loved ones about me.
Like most well-meaning people, I hope everyone within my sphere of influence will say that I had a positive impact on their lives that has contributed to them flourishing in perfect alignment with how they were created to live.
In the Scriptures, there are genealogies that trace the lineage of a particular family’s history. For instance, in the Gospel of Matthew, we find the genealogical record of Jesus. If we were to engage in a thorough biblical study on the lives of each person named in Jesus’ familial lineage, we would discover that some of the people named left a positive legacy, while others left a complicated one. So, a
question you and I would be wise to consider is, how will we be remembered in our families’ genealogical record? Will those who we leave behind remember us for making a positive impact on their lives that is rooted in our love for them or will they say we lived a complicated existence that caused them to question our motives? What will be our legacies?
I firmly believe that we all possess the potential to be remembered for being agents of transformative love in the lives of those in our circles of influence if we deepen our relationship with the one who is love–Jesus. As we grow in intimacy with Him, by wholeheartedly embracing His truths and surrendering to His will through the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, Jesus will shape our lives to be in alignment with how we were intended to live for our flourishing.
So, as Maya Angelou writes, “if you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” My hope is for everyone to leave a mark that will result in those who we love the most, remembering us for being agents of positive impact and transformation in their lives through our relationship with the one who is love.
– by Rev. Prince Thomas, Pacific Community Church