Slowing Down – Part 3
Written by: Andy
When I hear the word legacy it congers images of the greatest philosophers, scientist, engineers, political and religious leaders in history. These people have lead incredible lives and made major contributions and changes to society. I recently watched a documentary on NASA in the era of the Apollo missions and the incredible achievements those engineers and astronauts made in a decade to get us to the moon. Those are the things that people remember and talk about after you are gone.
Rachel and I have had a couple conversations about legacy lately. I think about what things I will be remembered for, what are the things I want to be remembered for and who’s going to remember me. If you google how to leave a legacy, which I have, there are a lot of things talking about raising your kids well. It talks about being a good father and raising kids with strong beliefs and morals is a huge way to influence the future generation. I agree with that and I have always assumed, and I still hope that can be a part of my legacy, but it’s a little unknown right now. I also think about achievements at work, and how I can influence the industry I’m in and make a real change; but I always come up short on answers to that one.
There was a very interesting part in Every Good Endeavor where Timothy Keller points out the story of the tower of Babel. Genesis 11:4 says “then they said, “come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the earth”. Keller points out that he does not believe it is the building of the city or tower that God has a problem with, it is their belief that if they can create something incredible they can make a name for themselves. Like their achievements will make them famous and beyond the need of God. I have never thought about a legacy like that; I always thought of it as what can I do that is amazing or culture changing enough to be remembered. God did the most culture changing thing possible when he gave us grace and the best thing I can do is to spread that grace and love to those around me. My legacy comes not from what I create but how I share the great gift God gave to us.
I hit a wall when I try to figure out how to act on this. How do I live a life that shares Gods love and grace as much as possible? Rachel and I concluded that we would rather have our legacy be the way that we lived and the things we were passionate about rather than the things we create, but how do we live that out? I’m not sure what the answer is. As I’ve gotten back to work it has became so easy to slide into old routines negative and pessimistic attitudes and I know that doesn’t show love very well. I think the best thought I have right now is to keep life slowed down enough to be able to say yes to the opportunities that come my way.
In love does Bob tells a story about how he got a call where he thought a friend was playing a prank on him, so to keep his friend going he just kept saying yes. In the end, it turned out it wasn’t a prank at all and he became the US consulate to Uganda. Because Bob chose to say yes even though he thought it was a joke, he gained an incredible opportunity to help hundreds of children in Uganda that were trapped in a broken prison system. I know a lot of times in life I miss the things that are most important because I’m so focused on my current task. Between working on my house, yard, fixing a car, bike or computer, or completing the mundane routine busyness for my job I miss a lot of opportunities to really help people and build more loving relationships. I know that my legacy won’t be my house, and if you have ever seen yard you know it won’t be my landscaping abilities. And while I know some of the day to day tasks are important in my job, a lot of them get done just to check something off a to do list and don’t really provide value. I know I will keep doing my yard work and I need to get my house done and keep my job, but I want to focus on seeing and seizing the opportunities that God puts in front of me to share His love and grace. Maybe that means saying yes to things that I would normally have passed off as frivolous and less time focusing on the material things in life.