Some things have happened this week that have got me thinking. And I wanted to share with you.
I expect you’ve had the experience of meeting someone, and feeling like they are an old friend.
Even though you’ve only known them a very short time, perhaps spoken briefly, they feel special. An old friend – newly met!
I met somebody like that at the end of last year in San Diego.
It was the end of a great conference and I was just finishing breakfast on Monday – ready to head to the airport for my flight home later that morning.
A young man stopped me and commented on something I’d said over the weekend that had touched him.
I joined him and his companions for a few minutes of deep conversation – then we all went on our way. Me back to New Zealand – he and his companions back to the East Coast of the USA.
I remember him, and his friends, and the conversation, often. It was special. They are special.
One of life’s blessings.
Life is good.
I emailed him yesterday to say ‘hi’ – and was stunned to discover that 3 weeks ago his wife and unborn child died of a Strep infection – leaving him and two young children.
That, and the earthquake earlier this week in the Solomon Islands – has underlined for me this week that life is short and unpredictable.
Death is a close companion always.
We make plans for a future that we may not live to see. Today is the only day we have. It is wise advice to live each day as if it is our last.
So what legacy do you want to leave?
We all leave a legacy.
Legacies don’t have to be big and grand to make a significant impact.
You don’t need to endow some university with millions of dollars to have made a difference in the world.
Your legacy is built day by day in the little and big decisions of life.
When I think of legacy these are some of the things that come to mind in the people around me:
Judy – who when she passes will have blessed hundreds of people with loving texts, cards and gifts of encouragement and appreciation.
Annemarie - who creates beauty in her home and garden – so that visiting her is a feast and refreshment for the eye and the soul (her cooking is superb as well!)
Jenny - who had a vision for her small town to flourish and supported a mayoral candidate who turned the fortunes of the town around
Bernadette who travelled a long hard financial road with inspirational faith and courage.
Robert who gives generously of his time and expertise to those in need, and builds up his team mates with laughter and fun.
David, who greets me with a smile and a cheery word each morning when he arrives for work.
Eyal and Perry, who are dealing with sudden loss with courage and honesty.
So how do you want to be remembered and celebrated?
A warm and welcoming smile?
What words would you like engraved on your memorial plaque?
What would you like to hear others say about you at your funeral?
Most of all – what would you want to say about yourself?
And having decided all that, if today were your last day, how would you want to live it?
What, if anything, would you do differently?
I’m sending a blessing to you and to your legacy. It is bigger than you think.