Thursday, August 14, 2014

Building a Legacy

hand crafted mallet, from my daddy
My daddy helped me today.  Those who know me will remember that he died several years ago but, in a way he was here for me today.  You see, he envisioned and crafted this mallet out of a walnut tree that once grew in my grandmother’s yard.  The tree came down, and the wood was beautifully crafted into beautiful and useful kitchen tools.   He was good at that-finding something, seeing its potential and using his hands to make something beautiful with it.  He worked the restaurant business as his day job, and operated an antique shop, and refinishing business, for which he was quite well known, on the side.   He was from a rural community in North Alabama and was raised with gardens, chickens, pigs, and cows providing food, and a creek (pronounced “crick”) running behind the house providing entertainment for the brothers and sister.   Hard work was expected, even required to provide for their family.   Using the mallet he made for me, helps me remember the lessons I learned from this hard working man.   He didn’t lecture me about hard work, he lived it. 

A teacher who encouraged me to write, helped me today too.  I haven’t seen her in decades, yet that one bit of encouragement remains clear in my memory.   She taught about literature, grammar, and such but, the encouragement is what I remember.  Having been a High School teacher myself for a few years, I tried to fill my students with encouragement and direction that would stay with them even after I was no longer a part of their lives.  Sometimes, I am blessed to visit in person or on facebook with some of them, and feel so honored that they include me in their circles.

We are each doing more than taking up space in this world; we are building a legacy and making a difference.  Our flesh will die, and our spirits will leave this earth.  The things we acquired will be sold and distributed to someone else.  Many of the hearts we touched will also remain, but those are the things which can not be sold.  Our impact, for better or worse, will remain.  Neither you nor I can go back and undo those things we have done to make a negative impact, but we can purpose in our hearts to honor our Father starting today and going forward.  How can we use our remaining time here to make a lasting, eternal impact for the kingdom of God? Consider with me these three starting points. Perhaps you will join me in;

Seeking His will.  This is the logical starting point, but is actually a tough one.  If you are anything like I am, you may face serious temptations to do what you want to do.  It isn’t easy to let someone else guide your life, but with Him leading, it is the best way.  He will always guide you to do that which is good and right.  Once the director is determined, the direction will be perfect.

Searching His word.   Spending time with God while studying His word is an absolute necessity for growth.   I recommend a good study such as Precept (although I admit I am biased in this area) that allows you to see truth for yourself.   Those with heavy commentary are man’s comments, and may or may not be accurate.  The only way to know what God has said is to study what He has said.  Reading in context, over and over, committing to memory (hiding in your heart), and letting Scripture interpret Scripture. (Commentaries can be helpful, but study first.  After you KNOW what the Word says, you can discern whether or not the commentator is on the right track.)  The key is to spend time with Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us.      
Speaking His wisdom. With God guiding and our hearts full of truth, wisdom will come from our lips as a natural result.  Our responses to our life events and the circumstances of those around us will be a reflection of what is in our hearts. 

Our Father has given us this beautiful opportunity to live a brief vapor of a life that will have eternal impact.  He has shown us how we are to live, and has even come to earth to give us an example in the flesh.  I pray today that you and I will follow the legacy of Christ, and in turn leave legacies and examples of godly direction and encouragement. I pray God will forgive our words and actions that have broken spirits and give us a heart like His own that equips others with wisdom, strength and truth. 

Side note:  There may be days when you feel that you make no difference at all, or that no one cares, or that the world would be better off without you.  That is a feeling, but it is not true.  Let me repeat, THAT IS NOT TRUE!  If you hear those words and are tempted to act on them, wait.  Never act while angry, tired, upset or sick.  You will make the wrong decision.   

Tomorrow will be an entirely new day, yes, it will have its own set of trials, but it will also have a new set of opportunities for you to help, encourage, and make a difference.  Someone who is watching you may need to see you work through your hard time, hand in hand with God.

You are created in the image of the Creator of the universe.  He knows you, and the number of hairs upon your head (you probably don’t even know that about yourself)! He knows your talents and He knows your limitations.  He has allowed circumstances that we do not understand to encompass us but He will not, leave us or forsake us.  Life and death are in His hands, and He knows the number of your days.  Things are not out of control. Trust Him.  Not only that, you make a big difference to me!  Knowing someone is out there reading, is just absolutely precious to me.

Lest you think I am looking through rose colored glasses, I share with you that my life circumstance has changed quite a bit in the last few years, and many of the things I used to be able to do are now out of reach.  But, I can spend time here with you.  You are such a blessing to me!  
Live strong. 
Live for encouraging someone who needs to hear the truth.  
Live for Him.   

I always welcome your comments, and examples of how God is working in your life!

About me

Interested in more stories of faith? Read
Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird 
Other Tales From Life In My Father's World
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