On a personal note, this past week we said our final goodbyes to one of the finest ladies I have ever met, our dear Aunt Sonja.
Aunt Sonja was a special aunt to us, but especially to my wife Lois and her siblings after their mom passed away at the young age of 37. Aunt Sonja was thoughtful, considerate and most of all intentional. In fact, during the recent days we spent with the family in Toronto, the stories recounted and the reminiscing from family members, pointed to the fact Aunt Sonja embodied the essence of a godly, classy, caring lady, but most of all she was loving toward everyone. Her closest friend described her well using the words, godliness, giftedness and graciousness.
The word “legacy” refers to something that is received from someone who has passed on. Aunt Sonja left a legacy to her children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and the many more who knew her, including Lois, our children and I.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the responses from family and people who knew her, and am asking myself more, “Is my life an example? What kind of legacy will I leave behind?”
It’s been said we should be known for what we are for and not what we are against. All too often we spend time highlighting the things we shouldn’t do, instead of focusing on the things we should be doing and the things God has destined us to do.
Here are a few thoughts I’ve been pondering:
It is the ultimate attribute of life and the highest of godly traits. Love expresses itself in characteristics such as grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness, etc. According to the Bible, we might conclude that without patience and kindness, love is incomplete.
Love is not just a word, love is action. Love is intentional, it causes us to put others before ourselves. It carries a purpose and mission that exceeds racial and cultural boundaries, because love is not divisive. Love unifies, it binds husband and wife, parents to children and vice versa.
True love exposes our motives; when love is forceful and demonstrative for the sake of appearance, it is not based on the genuine, unconditional love God has given us.
We must purpose to love others. Acts of kindness, words of life spoken with love to family members, friends and to all for that matter–bring life and give energy to the soul.
In Ephesians 4, Paul talking about unity in the body of Christ reminds us that when we function as a body, speaking the truth in love, the body will grow and will be built in love. Love, therefore, is not only the foundation on which we should live, but the very bricks that will build us into the habitation Christ will dwell in. It’s truly all about love!
MAKE TIME FOR ADVENTURE
“Let’s just do it!” was Aunt Sonja’s mantra. She lived her life to the full and enjoyed the simple pleasures of a sipping tea from one of her many china cups, a simple drive or traveling abroad. We always loved it when she and Uncle Arthur would overnight on their drive to Florida.
You see, if life is indeed a journey, as the saying goes, then we must be active because we can’t journey without movement. We are reminded in John 10:10, Jesus came to give us life to the full; that is full of joy, peace, and yes even fun! Along with these moments of fun, peace and joy, impartations takes place. We rub shoulders with and do life with people, we speak life into them and they speak life into us. I would not be married to the wonderful woman in my life, if we did not have the adventure that brought us together 31 years ago. So expand your horizons and have some fun…’let’s just do it!’
BE THE EXAMPLE
Let’s be honest, it’s easier to talk about something rather than living it. I mean in lots of things! It’s easier to talk about peace than to live in peace. Easier to say we ought to love one another when we have disdain toward someone who has hurt us. Easier to sing when living is joyful and peaceful. But what do we do when things are rough? What is our response then? We can sound like ‘connoisseurs’ but we can live like we have never known better. We can be rough, abrupt, impatient and impolite. Not the example we should be living.
The truth is that we desire to be an example in deed, not just in word, but we buy into the lie of the devil that we are the way we are, grew up that way and therefore cannot change. Sure, we can sound super smart, but are we truly living what we preach?
I am not advocating perfection, but we are responsible for what we know, therefore we must do our best to exemplify Jesus so our lives point people to Him. We can be transparent, share our struggles and be vulnerable, but in all, we must direct the attention to our Lord, He must be Lord of all. Let’s be the example those around us need to see!
What example am I leaving to those I come in contact with? What legacy will I leave when I’m gone?
In the end I believe it all comes down to these two things: Love God. Love people. I don’t think we can go wrong if we do our best to do both well.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.