- Money or property bequeathed to another by will.
- Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past.
I have been reflecting on the concept and implications of “legacy” since I heard a sermon on Memorial Day weekend. Our pastor was speaking of the legacy of Joshua. It was a very thought-provoking message and it keeps rolling around in my head. However, when I saw the definition that spoke of money or property I could not get excited about the legacy I wanted to leave. It needed to be something deeper, more meaningful, something that would motivate others to good. In this sense, I want to leave a legacy.
Five Generations of Women
This past weekend was spent with some of the most incredible women I know. I say some of the most incredible women because there are even more incredible women in our family that were unable to attend. They are all extremely intelligent, amazingly creative, belly-laughing funny, interesting and just fun to be with.
The best part, they are all related to me.
Our uncle (or father, brother, grandpa depending on who you were in the group) was the only male allowed to be any part of this weekend. On Friday evening he took all of us girls on a sentimental journey. We visited the old homesteads of our great-grandparents and grandparents. He showed us the one-room schoolhouse they attended and the church where they worshiped. We visited the cemetery where all of our family members are buried. It was an awesome way to spend an evening.
As I reflected on our weekend and our ancestral tour, I thought about the legacy of our grandparents, where this whole group started, and the legacy they had left.
It was a legacy of enjoying the times we get to spend together, of laughing, eating, poking fun at one another, playing cards and yes, I’m sorry to say, even cheating at cards when necessary. It was the ability to accept one another as we are and celebrate our differences.
However, the greatest legacy passed on by my grandmother was one of a deep faith and trust in God. My grandmother was a prayer warrior and she has passed this great gift onto every one of us. I am reminded of the responsibility I have to pass on this great legacy to the next generation. What a wonderful way to honor my grandmother and keep her memory alive.
John Maxwell says, “Your reputation is what people think of you now, your legacy is what they will think of you long after you are gone.”
We all leave a legacy. But you don’t have to die to leave a legacy. You merely have to be out of sight and beyond earshot. You leave a legacy when you leave a job, complete a project, move on from a role or to another community and, certainly, you leave a legacy when you die. You may leave a legacy when you leave the room!
I like to think that with that comes great responsibility. How will people think of you after you are gone? What will you leave for others to cherish? Will it be more than money (or the lack of it)?
What will be your legacy?