Thursday, December 20, 2007

What is My Legacy?

From time to time, I have a tendency to go into philosopher mode and post something on the blog. Ninety-five percent of the time I hold back; however, I often run into recurring themes in my life and I feel a need to pass it on to you. Take it or leave it, but at least think about it for a second.

The question I've heard in self-help books and from motivational speakers is this: What do you want your legacy to be? I come up with grandiose statements in my head—loving husband, father, and Christian who did it all and still had time for his friends. BUT, what I, and probably others, often run into is this question: What is my legacy now? This can be haunting question if you let it. People who complain they don't know who they are or why they are here may be fighting a legacy battle. What if the legacy you think you can't find is the one you are living right now? What if your legacy set for you by family, friends, yourself, is to be a wanderer, or an unrealized potential, or the family project. That's a sobering thought, at least for me. Nobody is legacy-less.

Hope comes in when you realize you can be different than the path set out for you. I'm trying to do this. I don't have to be here for what others put me here for—a huge statement indeed. It is possible for me to live a life for myself and God and start my own legacy. Col. 3 attests to this (and I paraphrase)—not until I rid myself of my human-given legacy and the things that old life includes will I begin to find my place in Christ as a new creation. Not all legacies given to you by others are bad, but they'll never be yours or feel like yours until you completely embrace them yourself. I don't want my legacy to be, "He lived up to other peoples' expectations so well,"? or even, "He was just like so and so"?—no offense, so and so. I want my legacy to be, "Ben,"? and then everybody laughs to themselves because they know Ben. So, if you are struggling with the legacy question, maybe it is time to ask yourself whose legacy you are trying to live up to or carry out. If you don't like it, change it—but be ready for struggle.

These are my thoughts and opinions only, not empirically validated statements.

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