A new year is a great opportunity to think about the future and what you want to accomplish.
A lot of us start with our New Year’s Resolutions. This is a list of things we want to achieve over the next 12 months. These often come from the broad categories of health, finances, fitness, relationships, self-discipline, and spiritual growth. For example, my list for 2018 includes some home projects that need to get done. Writing these down and putting a date on them makes it more likely they will happen.
At the next level is The Bucket List. This is typically a list of BIG experiences you want to accomplish before you die. Despite, the morbid aspect, this is a fun list to put together. For example, I’d like to attend a Super Bowl, see the Grand Canyon, and explore London. These are items on my Bucket List.
And, then there’s my Post-Bucket List. This is what I want to leave behind. This is my legacy.
A Legacy of Love. My wife, Ava, and I are approaching 34 years of marriage. Since March 31, 1984, it’s been my daily goal to love Ava well. Our relationship has always been my highest priority. When our kids were small, they got used to being left with a babysitter every week while their mom and I went on a date. We took at least one weekend a year to get away without the children. Of course, there were times when I failed. Sometimes miserably. When that happened, I apologized. If I treated her badly in front of the children I would apologize to her in front of them. The Bible tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. I strongly believe how our children encounter God is a direct result of how well I loved their mom. There is no greater legacy for me to leave than this.
A Legacy of Character. How we live day to day reveals our character. But, I’ll take it a step beyond that. How we live our lives when no one is watching reveals even more of our character. A lot of us have gotten pretty good at faking the public part of who we are, but how about the private part? As I’ve grown older, I’ve added a new filter to help me live true to my relationship with Jesus. If I were to die RIGHT NOW, what would people find? The Bible tells us that we can’t hide our sin. It will be discovered. I want the private me to match the public me. I want to leave behind a consistent legacy of character.
- A Legacy of Gratefulness. I want to be remembered as someone who lived in gratitude. There’s a specific reason why this is important. I’ll write more about that in the future. For now, let it suffice that I’ve come to understand how important this is to God. The Bible tells us to be grateful in all circumstances. There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room in that. I’m learning every day what this means. I hope I learn it well enough that this will be part of my legacy.
We all leave something behind when our time here is finished. I’m trying to be intentional about what that is for me. What would be on your Post-Bucket List?