One thing I really enjoy doing is going for a walk through the cemetery. It’s not cause I’m some creeper, but it really helps give me the perspective I need. I don’t do it often, maybe 2-3 times a year in the summer. I’ll leave our house and walk 2 miles down the road to the cemetery, then weave my way up and down the pathways. There are only a few gravestones with the “Harmelink” name on it, but I always stop by those to sit quietly and reflect, pay my respects. I also enjoy trying to find the oldest gravestones, folks that were born in the early 1800s and just imagine the world they saw and the life they lived back then. I will pause in front of familiar names and think for a second about what I remember about them, what are my lasting memories of that individual? What is their legacy?
Legacy focuses on what will endure. It’s about passing on things of lasting value to those who will live on after us. Legacy involves living intentionally and aiming to build into the next generations for their success. I enjoy walking through the graveyard, to reflect quietly and think about the legacy that those individuals left behind. It causes me to pause and think honestly and bluntly about the legacy I am building, how I will be remembered and does that jive with how I want to be remembered? It also helps bring clarity to whom I’m building this legacy for, reminds me who I should be living for now and to not get wrapped up in the opinions of others today. I often put myself in the shoes of my Boys and think as they walk by my gravestone hopefully many years from now what memories and lessons will stick out of me in their minds. Taking the time to ponder my legacy in the future gives me the focus I need to work on my legacy today.
In Proverbs 13:22 we read “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” This verse keeps our life goals, our vision and our legacy front and center when we’re choosing how to live our life today. When we weigh what we want now against what we really want later, we realize how temporary satisfaction pales in comparison to a legacy of purpose and generational fulfillment. An inheritance is not limited to money, but it also includes godly character, such as pursuing righteousness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness. Combining a financial inheritance with wisdom and godliness ensures that the next generation will also manage God’s blessings in God’s way for God’s glory long after we’ve passed on to heaven.
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