I was sitting with my mom in a coffee shop in my hometown when a song came on the radio. Most of the time, our conversation would continue over the music, but the lyrics are the kind that stick with ya.
"I want to leave a legacy." I think a legacy is something that most of us would like to leave. We want to make an impact. We want to be remembered.
(Here, you can listen to it, too.)
So how do we do that?
Well, we need to be intentional. We're supposed to look carefully at our lives, at the way we're living. We need to be pliable and teachable and open to the word of God. We need to be wise.
Wisdom is the ability to apply God's truth to our everyday lives.
Make the Best Use of Time
The first step is to make the most of the time we've been given. It's easy to let time pass us by without making any progress if we don't know what we're progressing towards! We have to know where we're going.
Take some time to think about your legacy. Think big. What is it that you're trying to do with your life? For example, some of my goals in life are to be a loving and godly wife. Someday, I want to be a mother who leads her children close to God. I want to make a difference in the life of other women by encouraging them and helping them to walk with God.
What if you're not even close to your goals? It feels a lot further off when you're just graduated from high school, and while you have goals in mind, it doesn't seem like there's much you can do to work towards them.
Don't be discouraged! Let's say a goal of yours is to be a godly wife. Well, start becoming a godly woman.
Don't spend your life waiting. Use your time wisely, and use it wisely now.
Discern God's Will
This is a tricky one, because really, we're human. And how can a human being even try to understand the will of all-knowing, incredible God?
Now, I'm not saying that we'll ever be able to understand His will completely. But He's given us a manual in His word. Try to find the big picture by learning the truth in the Bible, applying it to your life, and living in obedience to Him. Spend time in prayer.
You should also be talking to people. We've been given a community for a reason! Ask for advice from those you respect spiritually, people who have evidence of truth and faith in their lives. Listen to God first, and go to others for confirmation.
Be Influenced by the Spirit
We're easily influenced. By music, movies, billboards, the thing your high school boyfriend said to you fifteen years ago...
We need to be careful. It's important to protect our minds and hearts from the things that the culture deems "true," and focus instead on the things the Bible tells us are true.
Think about it. How much of your day is spent consuming culture? In my household, we watch about an hour and a half of TV every evening. My officemate listens to the radio at work, so I'm usually hearing about five hours of secular music. So really, I'm inundated with our culture for at least seven hours a day.
How many hours do I spend in God's word? How many hours do I spend reading blogs from Christians, how many hours of devotionals? Maybe three hours, tops.
So what has a greater influence on my way of thinking?
Focus on Thankfulness
Take a couple of seconds to think about someone who made a huge positive influence on your life. Someone who you admire, or a role model. Someone you'd like to emulate.
Thinking of 'em?
I always think of grandma when I think about godly women.
And one of her greatest qualities was her thankful spirit. Focusing on the blessings we do have, rather than complaining or dwelling on issues... it makes a big difference in our attitudes and in the atmosphere around us.
Live a legacy-building lifestyle. Make a spiritual impact.