Legacy

A hard reality of this pandemic is that people are dying. Watching friends pass away and mourn their loved ones has kept my mind returning to the concept of leaving a legacy.

I’m a part of an incredible men’s group at church that is willing to discuss and ask tough questions, and there were two this week that gave the group something to ponder. The first question was, “What legacy did we inherit from our parents?” The second one was, “What legacy are we leaving to our children?” 

Most of the men in my group described their fathers as hard-working and hyper-focused on providing for their families, yet emotionally distant. That makes sense, right? Their fathers came from the “Greatest Generation” of WW2 and had to persevere through the most turbulent time they would know, and they felt the weight to withstand hardship to make the world a better place. But, as we stepped into the second question, it got interesting. I asked my guys if we talked with their kids about what legacy their dad is leaving for them, what do you think they would say? Most men repeated what they had just said about their fathers…hard workers, providers for the home, and probably a bit distant. 

I had (and still have) an amazing dad. 

He was both emotionally and physically engaged with the three of us boys. He provided well for our family and modeled love and loyalty in marriage to my mom. Honestly, his shadow is a big one to walk in at times. But what an incredible problem to have. I want to think Cora would say most of the same things about me that I think of my dad, and if I were grading, I would give myself a solid A-. Anna and I teach her to work hard, hold family as an essential priority, love others, and believe that God loves her. Oh, and that Star Wars is the ultimate best movie ever made. Ever.

Do you notice what didn’t make that legacy list?

There was no reference to waiting on the Lord, being dependent on the King, resting in, and trusting God for direction. In other words, there were no examples of turning our control over to our loving Creator and Father. It’s a good thing that my men’s group was meeting on Zoom because, as this topic of giving over control developed, I’m sure sharp objects would have been thrown at me had we been in person. 

It resonated with us how we all failed to mention these surrender points. It’s not that we aren’t giving control to God, or striving to be more dependent on God’s voice over our own – but we were not intentionally modeling those examples to our children so that they could see that surrender lived out.

It was a hard pill to swallow but an easy call to action.

What’s your legacy going to be? To your family?  To your community? How do you want to be remembered? If we choose to leave a Kingdom legacy, we can do that through sharing our relationship with Christ and by starting a new visible pattern of transparency, surrender, and dependence on God. And, I recommend to go ahead and throw in a few Star Wars movie nights here and there too.

We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders.” Psalm 78:4

In His service and at yours!

~Shawn

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

3 thoughts on “Legacy

  1. Shawn, I disagree with you re ” not intentionally leaving”: By this very email today, and by all that you put in at Seacoast and beyond, you are very intentional about your legacy. We just don’t call it by those words all the time. Consider, how you lend yourself to others, and how Cora sees that, and has joined with you and Anna in that “lending”: so to speak. I could go on, but you are bright enough to get the gist of what I am writing. Even discussing legacy with your group has put a stamp on what you all are doing, every day. The material wealth may let you work more easily with the needs of others through prayer etc., but without the material wealth you would still be doing what you are doing, because you are lead by your ever loving belief n Christ!!!!.

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