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Will I Leave a Legacy?
Our God-Given Potential
There are more than 7 billion people on this planet today. Each is uniquely created by God. They are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Yet most will never be famous for anything. Most will die in relative obscurity.
I sometimes wonder, as I get older, if I will ever make the mark on this world that I had hoped as a kid. We have such big dreams and plans in our youth that tend to get lost in the reality and trials of everyday life. And we think that maybe our plans may have been too lofty. Maybe we should shoot a little lower. But is that what God wants of us? Are we so sure that the original dreams that we had early in life are to be completely discarded in favor of more "realistic" goals?
I. The Death of Dreams
There is a story that was told of a man who died and went to heaven. He met the Lord and God introduced him to many wonderful people. And then they came upon someone sitting in the corner of a room. The man with God asked Him: " Who is that person?" The Lord replied: " That is the greatest orator who ever lived. He could hold an audience of thousands in the palm of his hand with his silver tongue, and his words could sway the masses to his point of view." The man then asked: "Then why have I never heard of this man?" God then sadly told him: "Because he never became an orator. He was too afraid, and never attempted to speak for me."
It was Henry David Thoreau who said that: "Most men live lives of quiet desperation." This tells me most are not living out what God intended. For it was our Lord Jesus Christ who said: "I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). We were meant to do more than live out our existence and make it safely from the cradle to the grave.
The words given originally to the people of Israel, could easily be said to God's people, the Church, today. In Jeremiah 29:11 He told them:
"For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
However, so many forget that God can use them for far greater things than they can ever imagine, if they will but trust Him. Rather there are too many who die with their music still in them. They go into the grave, never knowing what a legacy they could have left because they either thought they couldn't, or they were never able to break their way out of that "comfort zone" due to the bubble of fear that surrounded them.
II. The Building of a Legacy
If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, there would be so much that I'd tell him. I'd ask him to take more chances in following his dreams. I'd let him know that his goals were worthy and that God had created him for greatness and a purpose. I'd tell him not to be so afraid of what others thought and to concentrate more on what God thinks of him.
But why worry about the past. There is absolutely nothing I or anyone else can do to change what has already taken place. There is, however, the present that God has placed in my control. I can give that same advice to myself today. The truth is that, as long as I'm on this earth, God isn't through with me yet. Every new day that I face is a new chance to become what I could be. I can leave the legacy that the Lord intended me to leave. As long as I refuse to give up, and continue to push on, great things can still happen!
I am convinced that the greatest songs are yet to be written, and the most wonderful stories are yet to be told. The best contributions in the history of the world don't have to all be in the past. God has placed so much potential in each of us that we simply cannot have exhausted all of it. We have the resources within us to affect the world long after we are dead. The question is not: "Can I leave a legacy?" I undoubtedly can, with the help of Almighty God. The question that I, and every other Christian should ask is: "Will I choose to leave a legacy?" You've been given what you need in order to do it for His glory. All you have to do is answer: "By the grace of God, I will."