Thursday, September 11, 2014

How To Leave a Legacy That Matters

By Jill Daniels
My sights have set me up to feel like a failure.
How, you may ask?

At our big universities, we are told over and over that we can change the world. Even in Christian circles we are told that we can change the course of history by furthering the kingdom. While both of these thoughts are true and should be our goals, I feel like I was set up to think my purpose in life was going to be loftier than what it has actually been. 

Do you know how I feel?

It’s that dream you have of getting a job in the field that you studied in college, where you know the most and are best trained. To get that dream job and to change the world are big goals but attainable ones in the college students' mind. Anything is possible, we are told.

But what if you don’t get that job? What if you end up finding a job that you actually like, but one that might seem “mundane” to your college self? What if you don’t even like your job but you need it to pay the bills? Should you then feel like a failure, as if you can’t further the kingdom because you aren’t doing something incredibly God glorifying? No.

You see, God created us to love him and bring him glory, to make his name known on the earth. It might seem like there are only a couple jobs in existence that could bring God glory, but that is where our minds fall short. We can bring God glory and show others his love in any job, anywhere. From the business world, to full-time ministry, to being a stay-at-home mom. 

Ugh, that last one is me preaching to myself.

The Beth Moore study I’m going through really spoke to me this morning. Hear her words: 
“So many people yearn to be part of something significant. Something important. We want to make useful contributions to society. We look at people who do and we’re envious, yet do we realize what kind of contribution we could make to our own family lines? I can’t think of anyone to whom I’d want my life to be a blessing more than my children’s children and their children’s children. Ten generations later our names might be forgotten, but one day in heaven I believe they’ll get to meet the link that changed the direction of the chain.”
Even if we don’t set out to lead a Bible study at church or serve at our local food pantry, we are lights to the people we encounter on a daily basis, and this includes our families! Isn’t it crazy to think that we could have that much of an impact on future generations just by spending time with people? Living our normal life and not hiding that we love God? I think that’s pretty radical.

As I prepare myself to step into motherhood in a couple months, I have been thinking through what this transition is going to hold. I need to start speaking truth to myself now about what God wants me to be doing during this time.

Psalm 78:4-7 speaks to this: 
“We will not hide them from our children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deed of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a low in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”
Just as if I was in the business world affecting my coworkers, as a stay-at-home mom I will be affecting my children. I need to be teaching them about the Good News of Christ and living out the grace he gives me on a daily basis. I can’t wait! To think that I could affect the future so greatly just by teaching a few kids what it means to follow Christ amazes me. So simple, yet so radical!

I’ll close with one more piece of Beth Moore’s study from this morning: 
“I don’t know how much longer Christ will tarry; but according to the biblical signs of the times, I don’t think any expert would expect Christ to linger a thousand more generations. Do you know what that means? If you are willing to be the link through whom God works to bring a greater depth of faithfulness and effectiveness, your life could affect every generation in your family line until He comes. Pretty impressive.”

God, I pray today that you would help me to set my eyes on you instead of on making a huge impact in this world. Help me to see how I can make a huge impact where I am at right now. Help me to follow you and to affect people near me by just living my life sold out for you and your Son! Thank you for what you have done for us! 

Amen.

Who in your family might God be calling you to impact today with the Good News of Jesus Christ?

[Photo courtesy of freedigitialphotos | This post first appeared on Radical Everyday Living, August 26, 2014.]

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