To Live A Legacy
I’m sitting here at dusk on my porch. The sounds of air conditioner units being cut by chirping crickets and the sound of airplanes heading just a few minutes east to their final destination at Dulles Airport. I sit here as I think, dream, and pray.
This past year has brought with it some of the greatest highs and lows of my life. It has not been without change, adventure, and heartbreak.
Leaving the first place Mwita and I built a home, to trekking halfway across the world for a great adventure. Seeing the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro rise among the clouds, to learning hard life lessons. Sitting around a campfire at dusk with some of the people we love most, to the loss of Mwita’s beloved Dad. We have cried, laughed, and cried some more. This year has been something, that is for sure.
If I have done anything at all, I have certainly had time to contemplate. What this life is about, what is important, and what my place is in this world. And I have thought much about living a legacy.
When people leave this world behind, we begin to talk of this word legacy. But chances are, they lived this legacy much before they breathed their last. It is something that was birthed in them years before. Something that was stirring in their hearts long ago. Legacy is not just life lived, but life we are living.
I’ve been thinking hard these past few weeks, this past year, really, about who I am, and where I am going. What is my print on this earth. After the events of this past month, it is burdened on my heart even more. What is this grand story that my life is telling?
I opened up my journal this morning to write for the first time since early April, for the first time since so much in my life has changed. There in my scrawling cursive writing, black pen on white paper it said the words, “each day is a gift.” Little did I know then how much those words would mean to me now. In light of the events that have happened in the past few weeks, life has been such a blur.
I have heard beautiful stories and read beautiful memoirs telling of my father-in-law and a life well lived. A heart for the orphans and widows, a passion to follow after the things of God, and to make a difference in the world. Much of what I now hold to be true I formed while working in the orphanage he started in northern Tanzania. It is there that I solidified my desire to help the hurting and the vulnerable. It is there that he opened up doors for me, stretched me, and taught me what it really means to serve. I owe so much to him, to the children, and to the City of Hope.
This morning when I read those words on the page, “each day is a gift” I felt warm tears on my cheeks. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. When great tragedy falls in time with so much newness and even dreams coming true. It has been so hard for me to make sense of it all. And then I remember that who I am and what I do each day is part of my legacy, my story to the world. And us living that out with passion is a reflection of those that have gone before us and paved the way. We do not get to choose each moment and each thing that happens in our life, but we do get to choice how we go on from there. Everything in life shapes us, becomes a part of us. Everything we experience in one way or another becomes a piece of who we are, an addition to our story to the world.
Each of us has a legacy to live, a story to tell. Today, what is yours?