Monday, August 22, 2011

Thinking about your legacy?

Over the weekend I spent time with my cousin, Melissa, in the biggest Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Fifty-two acres of history. Who knew I would one day be fascinated with Jewish history and be writing a book about a Jewish girl? I sure didn't. But here I am and I am loving this journey. My weekends will now be jam packed with research and traveling, while trying to piece this story together.

The funny thing is, the more I piece together of this character, the more I am finding about myself. I am stretching myself far beyond anything I ever imagined. Melissa and I spent time reading epitaphs and taking pictures. We stood imagining what the lives of those now gone from this earth were like. Holocaust survivors, WWI-WWII heroes, mothers, fathers and children. Children, whose lives were cut short. One of the most amazing gravestones I have ever seen was standing erect before my eyes. It was carved as a tree. It held flowers, vines, scrolls, and the names of those who were buried. Family gone from this earth. Departed from here leaving behind a legacy. A story for all to behold.

We will one day all leave this earth and all we have placed here. Heaven is only a breath away. For me, death carries no fear. I know my Savior and I know heaven awaits for me. But what about my time here? What about my legacy? My story? What will the words to my epitaph say? I pray the words, "Jesus looked good her", can be written. I pray my life story touches others and impacts those around me. I want to leave this earth having used up everything God gave me. In Jewish culture a short tree stump stands for a life cut short. They place such thought into their gravestones. Am I applying such thought into my own life here on this earth? No matter how long my life here, I want to leave behind love. I want to spend each day living life to the fullest. Not living in the past or the future, but right here and now, enjoying this very moment. I think if we are focused on Christ we can do just that with a joy we never knew possible.

With fear left at the way side, there is only life to fully enjoy. So, why not grab it and run with it? We can live a long life, but one that carries wasted time. We can live a short life and make a strong impact on the lives around us. The choice is up to us on what we do with the time God has given each of us.

I want to make a difference. I want to leave behind a legacy that points to Christ. We have an inheritance in Christ. We have much waiting for us in heaven, but that doesn't mean we believe and get comfortable. We remain focused on Him, living in faith today. Are you building a legacy?

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"God's purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him." Ephesians 1:12-14

"Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace and always be thankful." Colossians 3:12-15
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