I’ll be really honest with you…this Legacy series has been tough for me. I have loved the previous posts but I keep thinking about what I might or might not be remembered for, and it makes me a little sad (for instance, what on earth will they read out loud about me at my funeral? These are the thoughts I’ve been wrestling with as I think about legacy…right or wrong). What if I’m not really remembered at all? What if my grandchildren are so absorbed in technology (or whatever comes next) that they don’t have any Maw Maw stories to tell their own kids (and they will have truly missed out if that’s the case; I’m hilarious)? By the same token, what right do I have to even think that I should be remembered vividly, or at all? If Jesus is greater than Jess (and He very much is), then shouldn’t that simply be what is remembered?
As I sit here, waiting on my little one to finish piano lessons, I keep thinking about the apostle Paul, and Peter, and John, and Mary, and……you get the idea. Jesus’s legacy is, in great part, carried out by the stories of these magnificent (yet ordinary) people. How they lived, how they loved, and how they spread the Word.
I stare at the keys before me realizing that there are family stories in my lineage that have certainly been lost to time. I have seen my own boys’ eyes sometimes glaze over when my dad is telling some story about my Grandaddy (the only great grand-parent on my side they didn’t ever get to meet) or some other “ancient” family member, and I know that some of the family history I know and remember won’t be carried on further than me. But what I do hope is true is that the grit that’s been passed down from one generation to the next in our family will continue on. And we’ll need grit to keep clinging to Jesus in these next generations if things progress in the direction they have been, from a culture and society standpoint. These kids who’ve had so much handed to them, and handled for them, will be the torch-bearers of our faith, and they will feel the sting of persecution on some level (my sincerest prayer is that the sting is slight at best).
“But Moses gave no legacy to the tribe of Levi. The Lord God of Israel is their legacy, exactly as He promised them” (Joshua 13:33).
Paul had grit. Tons of it. And so did Peter. And the other disciples, and the disciples of the disciples. They clung tightly to the cross and it carried them through. We have so much to thank them for, and we are responsible for being those people to generations who may never even know our individual names. So, I can sit here and think very individualistically about what “I” want to be remembered for (the list is long, HA!). I can think about so many sentimental things—events, material possessions, characteristics, etc. But the reality is that none of that is as far-reaching as the Bible itself and the collective mission field of the future. I can pass down my own Maw Maw’s quilt, and Grandma’s aprons, but those will touch the direct beneficiary most–eventually the stories will be lost to time. Beyond that, they’re just some scraps of cloth sewn together.
Regardless, I can also dig in my heels pretty deep into the solid rock of Jesus, and keep showing up for Him, and keep praising His very name out loud and on purpose. I can use my grit when things are tough to show those who may be watching that when I place my faith and trust in Him, I have all that I need, whether in abundance or in want. God is good. And hopefully the ripple effect will continue…
“I will make a covenant between us and I will give you many, many descendants” (Gen 17:2).
So maybe there’s a little less stress around the thought of Legacy now, regardless of whether or not I continue to be sentimental about family history or passed-down objects (note: I will very much continue to be sentimental about it all – it’s just part of how He designed me). I know what I have to do…just like Paul (though hopefully not chained to a Roman guard 24/7), or Peter, or John, or Mary Magdalene, or any of the countless others who followed after. Those many descendants will need some guidance and some steady voices speaking truth over them. Many hands make light work, y’all.