I am away in Scotland for a wedding this weekend, so I’ve asked one of my fellow elders, Wyn Jones, to share his thoughts on ‘legacy’. Legacy is going to be a big word around Ammanford Evangelical Church over the next 3 months as we asked the question: What do we want to remembered for? How can we leave the greatest legacy?
We need to look back as Christians:
- To refresh our memory bank.
- To check whether we have made progress. (When we look ahead at where we would like to be we can get frustrated but seeing where we have come from is encouraging.)
- To learn from what worked.
- To learn from what didn’t work. (to prevent repeating mistakes)
- But: “One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” ~Michael Cibenko
- Indeed, “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” ~Jan Glidewell
So, we are to be future focused and occasionally look back, but what about our present. What are we to do with now?
I want to propose today that we begin thinking seriously about the legacy we are creating. My objective in these blogs, is to get as many of us as possible to grasp the importance of thinking “legacy”.
The teaching on how to leave a legacy will follow over the next few months, as Jonathan and others will open up the letter that Paul wrote to Titus and explain it’s content to us.
Me, in this blog? I want to impress on you the need understand the importance of creating a legacy. I will go so far as to say that next to sorting out whether you are secure in Christ’s love for eternity, this is probably the next biggest matter to sort out.
Have you noticed when the word legacy is used most often? Normally after someone has died.
- During the Royal wedding there was talk of Princess Dianna’s legacy.
- The tragic death of a great man of God was announced last week. The founder of teen challenge and the author of a significant book in my early Christian life called The cross and the switchblade. His younger brother was interviewed about David W life and legacy. A legacy of transformed lives, churches full of ex gang members, drug addicts and prostitutes.
- Last week we all awoke to the talk of another legacy, Osama Bin Ladden was dead and a different type of legacy was being talked about.
- Yesterday morning I was listening to the radio when they started talking about Seve Ballesteros’s legacy having just died at age 54.
This brings me neatly to the first thing I think we all should take good note of.
- It’s not a question of if I leave a legacy but what kind of legacy will I leave?
Leaving a legacy or not leaving a legacy is not a choice. People who work hard on creating a legacy and people who never give it a thought all leave a legacy.
We are all familiar with the phrase “in its wake”. The correct explanation of wake in this context is, “the region of recirculating flow immediately behind a moving solid body”
We normally assosciate this with ships and boats. This solid item the boat is moving in a fluid and after it has passed it leaves a wave pattern in the shape of a v in its wake.
This is inevitable as the boat travels through the water. The same is true of each and every one of us. As we move into the day in any circumstance or place or a group of people, we leave something in our wake. The evidence of our having moved through a day is left behind us whether we like it or not.
The question is, what are we leaving in our wake. Is it good or bad? After the solid object known as Wyn Jones has moved through today am I leaving positive things in my wake or destructive and harmful things. Am I leaving a mess behind me or something I can be proud of?
You can often tell that someone has been somewhere after they are gone because of what they have left in their wake. What we consistently leave behind us on a daily basis is what forms our legacy.
I want you to think of a period of time, at the end of which you still expect to be alive! You can chose one year 5, 15, 20 or 70!
The one thing you can say about your life is that you put in the time.
How many of you as you put the time in are going to do something anyway?
We’ve got to play so we might as well play to win.
If over the next 1,5 10, 50 years we are going to put in the time anyway why don’t we do something or be someone who will leave a legacy we can rest easy in eternity with.
Tomorrow we will look at having a ‘Frasier moment’….