The Legacy of a Life Well Lived

Legacy Parkway shield
Image by CountyLemonade via Flickr

“. . .but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20 ESV)

“It’s not what you take with you when you leave this world, but what you leave behind,” sang Randy Travis in his Christ-centered ballad, “Three Wooden Crosses.”

Legacy is a topic of interest these days in the United States. Marketing campaigns promote “scrap booking” as a way to leave a mark on family that follow us in life. “Baby Boomers”–adults born in the post-WWII decade–want to use skills learned in their lives to give something to emerging generations. Volunteerism is at an all-time high these days, promoted as something that just must be done to be successful.

While these are all noble pursuits, I wonder if they are not still doing works that might be subject to the destructive forces of both moth and rust. Where is our heart when we build our scrapbook? What do we want to accomplish when we obtain work that “gives back something”? What do we expect when we volunteer.
Y’shuaJesus says we are to lay up treasures in heaven, for where our treasure is there will be our heart. It’s all in attitude. Whom do we desire to glorify in our photo album left to our children? When we give our expertise to young people, what do we want in return? When we volunteer is it a stepping stone to other benefits? What’s in our heart?

We know that G-d looks upon our hearts. Our true intentions and motives are known to G-d. For our treasure to be stored in heaven, our intention, our motivation, must be such. We are not to journey through life leaving no trace on this Earth. Our faith itself is displayed in our works.

There is within in us a desire to make a difference with our lives. There is also a desire to be remembered. We make the most of our lives when we are at peace with our Creator, when His Spirit is free to work within us, and to flow through us. We need not strive then, but stride with our Lord. We are free to do all manner of works in the Name of our G-d.

Yet it can be discouraging not to know if we are making a difference. Some time ago I visited with a friend who is an artist, writer, and poet. His wife had recently consoled him at the meager sales of his work. She told him that his work would be something to leave his daughters, and their children, for generations to come. Just as G-d breaths a part of Himself into His creation, an artist puts a bit of life in his or her work, a piece of heart. I think my friend needed encouragement to continue his work even in the face of discouragement.

There’s another song that comes to mind that is titled, “I can Pray.” The singer laments in the song that he has not talent, no gift to offer the Lord. Then he remembers that he can pray. He tells us we, too, if nothing else, can pray. I would add that we can praise our Lord for His works. I would add that we can worship our Creator for Who He is. I would add that we can let the Holy Spirit guide us in our demeanor and our behavior. We can choose to rejoice in the Lord, always.

Thank You, Lord, for You work in us to work in the world You gave us to live within. Let us hear Your voice and respond. Build up, through us, treasures in heaven. AMEN.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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