Posts Tagged ‘memory’

LEGACY 19: The Luxury of Being Able to Choose Legacy

June 6, 2018

I am thankful for the luxury of having time to prepare a legacy, to have the choice, to think about and mull over and meditate on what I’ve done, what I wish I had done, and how I want to be remembered. Not everyone is given that.

I think of the 19-year-old young lady who slipped and plunged several hundred feet over Whitewater Falls just a little over a week ago. She was the 2017 beauty queen of the adjacent county, a dance aficionado who loved teaching young children, and looking forward to going to Clemson from the local technical college. Full of life and joy and vibrancy—and suddenly gone. No chance to look back, to think over what she wanted to leave as a legacy. She did leave one, but sadly through no choice of her own, did not get to leave a greater one.

It’s above my pay grade to know why. God in his infinite wisdom knows why she’s gone and we’re here, still trudging along and thinking about the trudging. But you are, for now, and I am, and I’m glad.

The older I get (approaching 66) the more I feel that life is designed to prepare us for the afterlife. The aches and pains and burdens and sorrows accumulate, and it’s easier to want to leave, to find that better place, to not have those any more. I think of the counsel of Ecclesiastes 12, where beautiful metaphors are used to compare aging to natural phenomena—dimming eyesight like shades pulled down on windows or rain clouds darkening your sky, hair turning white like an almond tree in bloom, “apple-blossom white,” (MESSAGE), teeth as servants stopping grinding, legs like guards trembling, “you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper” (NLT) [I went to bed last night at 7:30, and woke at 2:30 with the idea for this blogpost incipient, and so it’s not even 3:00 a.m. yet!]—see creatively paraphrased versions like Eugene Peterson’s THE MESSAGE or New Living Translation, or ones where it’s spelled out clearly like the Amplified Version.

The point of the comparison, the counsel, is to remember your Creator before it’s too late. When is it too late? Definitely when we’re dead and gone. And Solomon (supposing he is the writer) sees the danger of not having the faculties in old age to remember (e.g., Alzheimer’s or other diseases debilitating to the memory) and of having great regret for all the missed opportunities.

But my pastor, who’s 79, sees this as a time of great opportunity, of being able to look back and look forward and prepare. A time to grow closer to the Lord, to allow him to purge the past of pain by becoming more Present. I like that thought. And I’m learning to luxuriate in it. That is, for me, creating an eternal legacy.

And if I can encourage one other to do the same, I’m on it.

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Listen With Your Whole Heart

June 16, 2013

Listen with your heart. Listen with your whole heart. That is the key to loving people.

Listening changes people. Listening converts people. Listening is the heart of the matter.

Listen to others. But first listen to your own heart. Listen to God. Hear His heartbeat for you. Then when you can listen to others, you can listen to His heartbeat for them.

Wholehearted people are the people we admire. They accomplish superhuman feats. They change the world by changing the people they impact. They pour out their lives by pouring out their hearts, but they do it best out of a reservoir that is overflowing.

When I really listen, time gets expanded exponentially. Eternity comes into the moment. Time stands still, breathlessly waiting for me, for the one I’m listening to. I become one with them, and enter their pain, their joy, their love, their successes, their failures, their hearts.

When I have fully listened, and a sense of wholeness is fully complete, time resumes—but that moment has been captured in memory, a snapshot or a video to replay at leisure, or at needed times.