Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Legacy and Identity

This morning God directed my path through His word and showed me some truth about legacy. It's like the culmination of what He has been showing me about identity for most of the year, but strong in the second half of the year. It's interesting because my word for 2016 was "Be." I forgot that for part of this year, but He didn't. He didn't at all.

Before you can choose the legacy you leave I believe you have to know who you are. Otherwise what you leave behind is as happenstance as the choices you make each day. Sometimes that works out great, but most of the time there is no consistency and your day looks like a mish mash of events.

In August I began doing the work to really define who I was. I went through a lot of steps, questions, listening, and silence to figure out the answer, and I will share those steps through the month of January. You'll end up with a manifesto of sorts, maybe a vision statement or mantra, but definitely a better picture of who you are. 

Once you know that, you'll know what kind of legacy you will leave for others. 

This morning God directed me to three passages of the Bible. The first was simply a geneology and ancestry list for David, the second was the story of Hezekiah and Babylon, and then there was the story of Eli. 

I"ll admit the first section of the Word confused me as to why He was showing me the list. But after I read the other two portions I understood better. We are all connected to other people, those who came before and those who will come after. Hezekiah and Eli were not themselves evil men, but one fell to pride, and the other to selfishness.

Looking closer into their stories the heartbreaking reality of these men's end and legacy appears. Despite the good Hezekiah did he cared little what happened to his children, as long as he lived in a time of peace. And Eli didn't stop his children because he honored them more than the Lord. 

It was like a wake up call for me. God called me to be a certain person, and am I willing to be that person? Am I willing to live out the design He created for me?

Let me make no mistake in saying it is really hard sometimes, and there are times I would like to ignore what is going on (and have) or just keep the peace and not worry about what the cost will be (I've done that too). But God didn't create me to live those ways, and when I do the turmoil within and that I create out of the conflict can be exhausting, not peaceful. 

Hezekiah was called to be the King of God's people. Eli was called to be His priest. And yet both forgot who they were designed to be, and the legacy they eventually left was a far cry from what they could have. What kind of legacy will we leave? What choices will we make today which will certainly affect tomorrow? Are we going to live out the design God created for us?

I hope you will come back in January. The question, path, and journey I took to define myself and create my Bear Laws will be posted on the weekends. It may take you the month, maybe a weekend in Feb, or maybe half the year like it took me, but I pray you fully embrace your original design God gave to you and learn to live it out so that you can know the legacy you are leaving for those behind you.

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