I really don’t know much about Margaret Thatcher, but the news headlines I read today told me far more than I found on Wikipedia.
That was the headline. The very sad headline.
She was a wife and a mother. The first woman to become Prime Minister of her country. Her name was known all over the world. But the legacy she is leaving behind is one that moved people to celebrate the fact that she is dead. My heart felt heavy, wondering if she had any idea how she would be remembered.
Someday, we will all be someone’s ancestor. What will those who come after us remember?
I think ‘legacy’ is hard for the young to think about for too long. The strong. The world-changing ones. Leaving their mark on the world. Give them a sword, a war cry, and a dragon to slay. Because they are young and free and strong and brave, and they are marking the world with their presence. The world is smitten by the young.
But time happens, and young doesn’t stay young for long, and then they have children. (We, too, are smitten by the young.) We soon discover that there is little time for making a mark or slaying anything and suddenly we don’t feel so brave anymore. We feel scared. We feel the weight of responsibility and life becomes a series of “right now” moments. Everything demands us “right now” and there is little time to really think about “someday”.
But it will come. I promise, someday will come. Someday, you will find yourself sitting in a chair, feeling a beautiful breeze coming through your open window, and you will read a headline. And you will wonder what will be remembered of you. What will they take away from your life?
And in that small moment, legacy will matter. What you leave for those coming after you will matter.
It will matter whether or not they saw more peace in you than anger.More grace than criticism.
More faith than fear.
Did they see an over achiever, or an overcomer, who actually overcame? Because we can call ourselves overcomers in Christ, and never really overcome anything.
It will not matter that you didn’t make lots of money. It won’t even matter if you did. What will matter is whether or not they saw that you were content either way.
Were you always waiting for something good to happen, or were you making good happen right where you were?
Were you continually chasing after something, or were you steadfastly following Someone?
Did they hear you talk about caring for the poor, turning the other cheek, loving your neighbor as yourself, obeying God…or did they see you do them?
Did you believe in God, or did you believe God? There is a difference, and the difference matters.
Whether you have children or not, legacy matters. Because you will be an ancestor to someone. There are people watching you live life. What will they remember?