Recently as I was driving I found myself wondering how I’d want my girls to feel when my time was over and I was gone. (Apparently I’m morbid like that.) What was the legacy I wanted to leave behind? What impression did I want to instill on those I went on ahead of?
Did I want them to feel love? Yes, of course. How about respect? Sure, that’s good, too. But there was something else, scratching just below the surface. And I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.
Then it hit me. I realized I wanted them to feel thankful.
Instead of grief I wanted them to feel gratitude. I wanted them to know that I was there for them, and that I helped shape them and guide them into the people God wanted them to be. I wanted to leave an indelible imprint on their souls. And I realized I wanted others to feel the same way, too.
Have you ever asked yourself the question of what you want to leave behind? Would you like others to be thankful for the part you played in their lives like I would? What if we lived out of a place where we lived intentionally to bless others? What if we strove so that, someday, those we strove for will say, “I don’t know what I would have done without her”?
I think a lot of us do this out of impulse already, probably without really thinking about the ramifications of the wanton love we’re spilling all over the place. And that’s likely a good thing in a way, because really we can never know all of the impact of our care and generosity. I know I have many people around me who I am fairly certain don’t know the impact of their actions on my life. One such person is my dear friend Mary Farnsworth. Mary gives and gives and gives, and I doubt she ever thinks twice about it. But her gifts enable me to help the people I do. She blesses my family, but she doesn’t just bless my family: she has touched many, many more by what she has done for me. She is a silent partner in my ministry. She doesn’t do it because she has to, and it’s not even because I’ve ever asked her. She just does it. And I am indescribably grateful for her. If you have been touched by me, then you have been touched by Mary.
Just a little gift can change a person’s week, or even a person’s life. When we give our time, our energy, our money, our help, we don’t know how large of a ripple that pebble we just threw in the water will go. So it’s probably best for us to throw a lot of pebbles. You never know when one of them will change the world. Or even one person’s world. And if we just change one, wasn’t it all worth it?
Let’s intentionally make ripples. Let’s make a point of sowing inordinate kindness. Let’s live in such a way that, when we die, we leave behind a legacy others are intensely thankful for.
Have a great week, my friend, and I’ll talk to you again soon. If you enjoyed this, please consider sharing it. If you want to make sure you get whatever comes next, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list. And if you need some hope or help through any of life’s troubles, check out my book, “The Complete Cancer Diaries.” (It’s for a lot more than cancer, I promise you.) You can get it on Amazon right here. God bless you until we meet again.