Every month or so when I was a kid, my family, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins, would gather at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. They would put all the leaves in the big farm table and we’d gather around the table filled with all of our favorites we’d begged Grandma to make (all carbs, all delicious).
Before he prayed, Grandpa would stand at the head of the table and look at us all, then look at Grandma. “Mother,” he’d say with a grin, “without us, none of these people would be here.” They’d laugh, and we’d laugh, and it was years before I got the joke. Then Grandpa would try to pray, but he’d never get through it without crying with gratitude.
We’ve all been given a legacy. It’s the people who have loved us enough to make a difference, building us into the people we are today. Everyone who plays a role—whether big or small, good or bad—is a gift.
Those meals around the table, along with working in the garden, making cookies, singing hymns, and learning to fish at the lake, are all part of the legacy given to me by my grandparents. They instilled in me a love for the land and a good work ethic, all laced with laughter, fun, and a love for Jesus.
We have all been left a legacy by countless people whose lives have intersected with our own. Think about it for a moment. For better or for worse, people have poured into you, shaping you along the way, and today you are a product of all those different people—whether for a moment or a lifetime. They have led and guided you, listened and loved you, built into you so that you are the person you are today.
There’s a thread of grace that weaves throughout your life, a legacy unlike anyone else’s in the world. If you and I were to sit down to compare, your stories would be completely different from mine; unique to you. Never forget that your legacy is a remarkable, stunning gift given only to you, crafted by God who knows you in an amazing, intimate way.
How you choose to honor that gift is up to you.
God, I am in awe of the way You have brought other people into my life to build me into who I am today. May I be a good steward of this gift, passing it on to the next generation after me. Amen.