This summer has been special for my brother and me, because for the first time, we were able to introduce our spouses to our family camp in New Hampshire. This place of our childhood holds so many memories and history we wanted to share with them. I didn’t think of it as a heritage.
Going to camp always feels like stepping backward into time. There’s the small wooden cottage my great-grandfather built, the generations of chipmunks my grandfather taught to eat out of his shirt pocket, the memories of family reunions from years past, and the collection of family pictures on the walls.
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My heritage includes a godly great-grandfather who rocked me (a once colicky, crying baby) to sleep with a smile on his face. He must have been a saint! It includes grandparents who boarded a ship to Colombia as missionaries and later returned to the States to pastor a Connecticut church. It continues through my parents and now me.
Today’s choices are tomorrow’s legacy.
Have you ever stopped to think that we’re making our own heritages today? People talk about “leaving a legacy.” That’s a heritage, a history that defines your story and mine. I’m grateful that God saw fit to give me “the heritage of those who fear [His] name” (Psalm 61:5b NKJV).
However, maybe you can’t say that about your family. Maybe you’re the first in your family to call Jesus your Lord and Savior. If so, I have great news for you. You have the privilege of beginning a godly heritage. It’s your choice and mine. Even those blessed with a Christian family must choose for themselves.
Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart. (Psalm 119:111 NKJV)
Does God’s Word make our hearts rejoice? Do we care about what He says? Do we seek to please Him with our daily choices? How we answer those questions will shape the course of our lives.
Our present will become someone else’s pictures.
Imagine a wall in a home, decades from now. Perhaps it’s your child’s or grandchildren’s home. There are pictures on the wall –pictures from your graduation and wedding, pictures of your children and family, pictures of places you’ve been and places you’ve served. What will the pictures you leave behind tell about your life?
I want mine to show a life well spent for Christ. As Elisabeth Elliot said, “Is anything offered to Christ ever wasted?”
The question is rhetorical, because the answer is no. God can use anything we give to Him. May we live with eternity in our hearts and with the awareness of God’s presence in our lives.