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Archive for January, 2009

Legacy

Hello,

It has been a while since my last post. As is with everyone, I have been busy, and have not taken the time. This is not due to any shortage of blessings , as I am still a Blessed dad.

I was pondering my role in life, and my role in the Kingdom after I am spent, and came up with that age old question we all ask, “What will my legacy in life be when the race is run”? What will others say when I have passed on. I have spent my fair amount of time trying to accomplish what I have deemed to be important in this life. First, I would love to say that God has always been first and foremost in my life, but he has not always occupied the place of importance that he should. When I was younger, I placed a lot of importance on getting the right job, one that would support my family and give them opportunities that I did not have. When that was accomplished, I worked on climbing the ladder. The ladder is something that seemed important at the time. I climbed the ladder to a good place, and became comfortable. Friends and family complimented me on achieving such a good job and being a good provider, and I just smiled and said thanks. I may have occasionally thanked God, but I was happy to take much of the credit, “foolish”. I believe that many people of today place so much importance on our job that we let it define who we are. Is this wrong? I can’t judge, but I don’t feel right about letting my job define who I am anymore. I defer to the example of Christ. We all know that Jesus worked as a carpenter, and some of his deciples were fishermen. There are not many examples of Jesus and his carpentry in the Word. There are but a few accounts of the desciples fishing in the Word , but being a fisher of men takes front and center. When I think of Christ, I reflect on his kindness, his compassion, his lack of pretentiousness. He ate with crooks, prostitutes, people that many of us would consider seedy. We talk about how cleanliness is next to Godliness, but that statement did not come from the Word  , but rather from man. On the contrary, didn’t Christ say that it was more important to be clean on the inside than on the outside? Yes, Christ was a carpenter, but that is the last thing I remember him for, the savior of the world is what I remember him as.

As we come into this hard time (economy/moral crises) it is going to be important for us to think about the legacy that we leave. Will we be remembered as generous people who strive to plant the seed for God, or as jet setters who have the latest gadgets. W ill we be remembered as people who got a new sports car every other year, or as someone who shared some of what we have to the many who are in need? Will we be remembered as workaholics who are rarely home, or as  parents who were good mentors to our children?

I had a friend many years ago, his name was Norris, and he was diagnosed with cancer in the prime of his life. He beat it, and lived for eight years before it returned. He had a passion for working with teens at church. He always leant an ear if someone needed to talk. He always had a shoulder if you needed one. One evening when he was giving a devotional to teens at an outing, he told them this. He had heard a new country and western song that he liked because of the message in the chorus. It went like this “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”, meaning you have to have a creed in life (Christ Follower) or you’ll fall for anything. What I take that to mean for example, is lets say you do not take a stand on an issue, for instance pre-marital sex. If you do not take a firm stand, then you are likely to think it is okay because hollywood glamourizes it in every way, so you may think a show like “Sex in the City” is okay, because you haven’t taken a stand (you’ve got to stand for something) on the issue. So then when you are with friends and they want to watch the show, you just accept it. (or you’ll fall for anything).

Norris’ legacy was many things, and they all revolved around God, but that saying stayed with me for good. Norris stood for something, spreading Gods word, planting the seed. Norris had a pretty high profile job, but what he did for a living was miniscule when compared with the man.He made mistakes in life like any other person, but they did not define him. These were the things that defined him.  He was a man of God, a man of compassion, a man of sympathy, and a man of love.  These were the things that defined Norris.

I used to be proud of what I do for a living, I still take pride in what I do, but I don’t want it to define me. I want God to define me. I love my Wife & Girls more than life itself, I want to be a good husband and father, but I want my love for God and my desire to do his will to be what defines me in the end. I have made many mistakes in my life, and will make many more, but in the end, I desire to hear “well done, my faithful servant”.

Hard times are here, and harder times are coming. We are followers of Christ, let us be defined by God’s love and kindness. Let us be defined by the Holy Spirit which lives within us. I certainly don’t want to be remembered solely as a good provider, since God did the providing, he just did so through me.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, God bless you and keep you!

BlessedDad

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