"Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day." —Billy Graham
Leaving an Unforgettable Legacy
I watched Michael Jackson's memorial service at the Staples Center. Who would have guessed that the King of Pop's memorial service would begin and end directing our attention to the King of Kings?
The pastor prayed the benediction, "Even now, the King of Pop must bow his knee to the King of Kings." Jackson's music, his monument, weaves throughout many people's lives. He inspired others to dream. Some people leave buildings, money, possessions as their legacy. We live in a culture that promotes illusions—fame and fortune—as the "stuff of life." When we die, these fantasies are
A person's legacy is never about wealth or belongings. It's always about how we allow God to work in our lives and character. As the book of Matthew wisely recorded, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," (Matthew 6:2-21).
In life, I knew Michael Jackson as a single father, but not as a man of faith. The Scripture directs us to take care of our families. Solo parents sacrifice, lose sleep, work multiple jobs, and give their lives to provide for their children. As parents, we may fail our children, our living legacies. Divorce tarnished the family legacy I wanted to leave my children. I did not feel "called" to be a single mother, but that's where I found myself. I only hope others will say, "Here lived a single mom who did her job well, in spite of the challenges." However, I rest assured in the fact that God never fails his children and I trust him to draw my children close to his heart.
When I die, will my memorial focus on me, my accomplishments or on God? No matter my imperfections or struggles, hopefully, my children will celebrate me as a person of strong character and deep conviction whose faith in God triumphed over life's challenges and controversy.