This weekend has brought a celebration of two lives. It’s really got my thinking the last few days about life, purpose, destiny and legacy.
My great grandma who would have been 100 yesterday. She passed away at the old age of 99. She was an incredibly special woman to me. For some reason the best times we had together involved her being in the hospital. On three of four separate occasions I was with her in the hospital, mostly because I was the only family member in the city who was able to get there when she had various ailments or accidents.
One of the most amazing things about my Great Grandma Hazel was her resilience. When Grandma was in her early nineties her friend accidentally hit her with a car. This sent her to hospital with a broken hip. As I drove up to the hospital to be with her, my mind was racing with how I’d need to encourage her not to give up on life. I was sure her spirit would be crushed by this injury so late in life. I was shocked when I arrived at the hospital to see how exuberant she was. Her main concern was making sure that no one canceled her trip out to Ontario on the train. She also needed the entire hospital staff to know she’d still be golfing. She just had to be good to go for the golf season.
Great Grandma pulled through remarkably and showed amazing character in her ability to overcome adversity. She is now remembered today by my family as a woman of perseverance, strength and a true love of life.
Tonight we celebrated Grandma Switzer’s (Andrew’s grandma) 75th birthday. During the night there were many tributes given to her. Her kids stood up and shared many ways that she was and is an amazing mom. Her kids spouses, and some grandchildren shared thoughts about her as well. Her devotion to her husband, love for her kids/grandkids/great-grandkids, commitment to prayer and hard work ethic were mentioned over and over.
The verse that kept resounding in my mind was about the wife of noble character from Proverbs 31:28 “her children will arise and call her blessed, her husband also and he praises her”.
A legacy is described as anything handed down from the past. It doesn’t matter how much life you have left to live, you have room to leave a legacy, to hand something down – to turn something from the past into an encouragement for the future.
Whether it’s been from bringing a new life into the world, celebrating the lives of other, or hearing of tragedies where someone too young is taken from this world – the message to me has been loud and clear: Don’t waste your life.
Don’t pursue things that in the end will come to nothing. Matthew 6:19-21 talks about this and says not to store up treasure on earth, but to store up treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
I don’t want my heart to be in my house, my car, my clothes or any other possessions. I first want my heart to be with Jesus, and then my husband and son. How rich I will be if my treasure is found in my Saviour and my family!
The song in this video talks about the kind of legacy as Christians we should want to leave. This always makes me cry as I reevaluate just where I’m at in life. Andrew and I frequently ask each other, are we wasting our lives? Are we really making our time on earth count? Are we impacting people, or are we just indulging in selfish desires?
When I think about this long-term perspective of legacy, it helps me overcome some of my insecurities. This morning as I was getting ready for church I just felt like my clothes, hair, make up and everything just was not working right, and I was getting really frustrated about my appearance. But when I die, do I really want to be remembered for having nice hair, fashionable clothes or any kind of superficial beauty? No. I pray that I will have lived a life that my kids will honour. I can only hope that by God’s grace I will have loved people, worked hard, encouraged everyone to follow whatever the Lord put on their hearts and empowered my kids, grandkids and great grandkids to use the gifts God has given them to influence their spheres and take on the world for Jesus Christ.
Please, if you feel like you’ve wasted your life: don’t give up. Find strength from the Lord and ask Him what He wants your legacy to be. Even if you pass one thing positive on to the next generation, you will have made a difference. The Lord’s mercies are new every morning. There is no sin too great that He will not forgive. There is no mountain too large that He can not move.
Life is short, Lord help us make the most of it.