The Legacy We Leave Behind

What we leave behind–

“A righteous man will be remembered forever.”

 Psalm 112:6 (NIV)

     This year’s weather has inspired long lasting, multi-blooming roses. In our garden, I carefully select old fashioned roses for their fragrance and disease-proof ability. So while out today, I deadheaded and cut a bouquet of beautiful purple roses. Placing them in a vase of water, I rushed on to finish running errands.

     One of my errands took me to the grocery store in a hot car. I turned on the AC, and continued on my way. Moments later I was enchanted by a heady flora scent. I looked around the car to see if I’d left something in it, or knocked something over even though I didn’t remember buying an air freshener of any kind. Brushing my hair out of my face, I realized the lovely scent was coming from my hands and the air from the AC was blowing the scent past my nose.  Evidently when I’d cut the roses, their wonderful fragrance had been left behind on my skin.

     Ever wonder what will be left behind when our time on earth is complete? What philosophy, inspiration, examples of life and love, or memories will be the essence that is you? Although I’m a proponent of being present in the moment, and living life to the fullest, what equally matters is what is left behind. I don’t mean the physical things, the money, the wills, and the ‘stuff’ we can’t take with us. Rather, I’m talking about the total sum of our lives and what we will be remembered for.

     Seems like if we know the end goal of our life, and what we want it to stand for, then we will know how to live our lives. Without an end goal, we won’t know if we’re on track or off. Staying on course can bring joy and a sense of accomplishment. There’s great value in having a multitude of experiences on our resume, but there is even more significance in the intangible inheritance we leave to our family and friends. 

     If we could orchestrate our own funerals, what would we want those left behind to know? Would our departure inspire them? Equip them? Challenge them to fill our shoes?

     We all leave a legacy behind—good or bad. I’d like to leave a legacy behind that can’t be put on a headstone.  A legacy, invested in those who live today, never dies.  When God calls me home, I’d like to think my fragrance will linger on and be as pleasant as my roses. I pray the sum value of my life inspires others to expect more of themselves than they are presently choosing. And I pray my life will be a sweet smell in others’ lives.  

For more inspiring stories like this check out: The Real Dirt on Being Happy!