What will be your legacy in this world? Have you ever pondered about what the world will be like without you in it? That can often be a rather scary scenario to think about. It is not something people like to bring up at the dinner table while passing the fried chicken. However, I think it is a quandary that needs to be addressed. As humans, we are always talking about the future. There is always the stress of college, getting married, and having kids that hangs on us. We even worry about what is going to be served for dinner the next night. We constantly see our lives as these long strings of events that we hope will turn out in our favor. But I think that in order to properly know how to approach our inevitable futures here on earth, we need to have an idea of what we want the impact of that same future to have on something far more pressing: our eternal future.
Imagine visiting your grave one day as a ghost. You would be looking around at the world without you in it. Give this a good thought. I know it feels morbid. However, to live your best life now, it may be helpful to consider the legacy you want to leave behind. Why? Well, I hate to break it to you, but someday you will cease to exist on this earth. But what I am focusing on here is not your disappearance, but your remains. I do not mean the remains of your corpse and all of that nasty medical stuff. I’d rather leave that part unmentioned. I am speaking of your spiritual remains. Now, once again, I am not trying to go all morbid on you. I do not mean your ghostly spirit. I mean the spiritual influence you left on the world that STILL REMAINS…even after you’ve physically left. I am referring to the love in people’s hearts that you instilled that still lingers, the hope you spurred, the dreams you helped others realize, and most importantly, the amount of times you spread Jesus to others that not only remained in their hearts, but GREW.
See, with every action you take here on earth, you have the potential to plant a seed. And the reason that planting seeds is important is that although we may not live to see said seeds grow, the seeds spiritually put into people still have the capacity to grow into something beautiful- despite you being here physically or not. This is what a real legacy looks like. It’s a titanium trail because it can’t rust.
But trophies do.
And trophies and awards are great…when you are alive. That’s the hard part about talking about legacies. It’s so easy to think that every award we receive is what makes us great. We all want to leave a mark. We all want to be remembered. And fancy certificates and large metal trophies can seem to cement that mark into the world…while we are still here. But leaving a mark isn’t about being in the hall of fame. It isn’t about having a statue built in your honor. It’s not about a preserved blue ribbon that fades with time. It’s not about how many people show up to the funeral.
Sadly, achievements and awards ultimately die with you. This is not to say that striving to be your best is bad. I am NOT saying to stop chasing your dreams or to stop trying your best in everything you do. What I am saying, however, is that life isn’t all about those things. While they are great and can bring glory to God’s kingdom, it is the nuggets of intangible love from Jesus that we spread along the way that matter MOST.
A favorite quote of mine is:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I believe this to be very true. Think about it. These days, when somebody texts you or comments on an Instagram post “I love you”, you probably wouldn’t think much of it. People say they “love” things ALL the time. I love pizza, but do I? Would I be willing to risk my life for a slice of pizza with mushrooms and green peppers (yes, that’s my favorite toppings, you can judge me all you want)? If you are joking and “starving” you might say yes just for fun to this question. However, in reality, we all know the truth.
The same goes for people. When someone texts you they “loveeeee” you, you probably will forget it pretty quickly (unless it’s your crush and you are a young teenage girl- that’s different). If someone tells you in person that they love you, you will probably be more sentimental and appreciate their kind and loving words. However, if someone SHOWS you they love you by what they DO, that’s entirely different. That means something. It shows that those words of love weren’t just words spoken. They were a piece of the sincere truth of how that person feels about you. As a result, you FEEL something that changes your view of them. It’s not simply the action that causes you to have a good perception of them. It is the rattling in your heart due to an unexpected installment of love from another. This is the kind of love that lasts- the love from Jesus that sits in your heart and stays. It’s titanium.
Why? Because When someone says they love you, commits to loving you the way you should be, and actually DOES things out of love for you, you aren’t likely to forget it. A helping hand in life means far more than a helpful text. I think these days people get so obsessed with screen to screen communication that actual contact in person feels awkward and weird. A love “text” is starting to translate to a love action through the power of social media…which is dangerous. A good friend to text is great, but a good friend to hang out with and talk to in person, eye to eye, is much greater.
See, love truly put into people’s hearts has a domino effect. It does not disappear through the generations. It multiplies. For example, if I tell my best friend that she is God’s beautiful creation and she believes it, she may tell her own daughter that one day. Then that daughter may do the same to hers. These are impacts that last far beyond the grave.
Life change in others that you leave lasts forever…because your work here can make a difference for someone else’s eternity. That’s our goal here on earth- not to bring glory to ourselves but glory to Him…that we may carry out His will to not only change our hearts, but the hearts of others. When we bring others to Jesus while here, we are leaving the biggest mark on the world we could ever imagine. We are changing other people’s eternities.
So now that its importance has been established, how do you actually leave an imprint on someone else’s life? How do you make a mark that lasts forever? What does it take to leave behind a titanium trail? The answer is concrete:
Wherever you go, with whoever you meet, and with whatever you do, leave Jesus there.
Walk like Jesus did.
Simple answer, but hard to live out sometimes. Thankfully, we have The Holy Spirit and The Bible to guide us in this journey.
All in all, walking like Jesus is the definition of a titanium trail. Think about Jesus for a minute. He was a carpenter that walked this earth for a very short period of time- just 33 years. Yet, we are STILL talking about Him! 2,000 years later. And it’s not because of what He said. Yes, He preached some incredible messages that rattled hearts and moved people to follow Him. But most importantly, it was what He DID that rattled the course of history. The course of eternity. Dying on the cross and rising from the dead isn’t something that can be forgotten. He didn’t just speak love. He SHOWED love. That’s what we are supposed to do too. See, we are all still living in the wake of His titanium trail trying to follow His example. Jesus’ titanium trail is not something that lessened with time. It GREW. Just like the seeds we plant in others when we spread His Name to them.
If you remember anything from this, know that one impact that will never go away is your impact on others. YOUR titanium trail. If you have been following this series, you may know that the metal titanium has three qualities: strength, a low weight, and a high resistance to heat. Because this is the last installment of the series, I am going to quickly simplify these three features in terms of their relationship to your titanium trail:
Strength: Your titanium trail you leave through the power of Jesus’ love is strong forever because the love of Jesus is everlasting. It is everlasting in every heart you touch with it. That’s just how He works.
Lightweight: Your titanium trail weighs very little because people aren’t weighed down as much by the mourning of you leaving because they still have a piece of you with them- the love you instilled through Jesus Christ in their hearts. Love is weightless. It brings a sense of peace, even after your physical presence is no longer there. This doesn’t apply to just when you are dead. I’m not that morbid. It also greatly applies to the love you’ve left behind after moving away or moving on.
High resistance to heat: The heat of the world includes stress, tragedy, and anger. The love of Jesus that you spread, once resonated in people’s hearts, is titanium strong against the powers of the darkness. The light in love far outshines the disaster and aches of the world because it offers an intangible peace in a world of tangible pain.
And this is where I leave you. If you forget everything you just read, just know this: Life is a Segway to Heaven. It’s just one section of eternity. Yet it determines the rest. So be the one, while you’re here, to gather up a bunch of people you want to see again…in Heaven. That’s the end result of spreading the love of Christ. It leaves a titanium trail that people start jumping on the tail of. The trail gets larger and larger as more and more people start dragging their own trails behind them. It’s like one never ending train headed for Heaven. It may not be the easiest trail to follow at first, but it certainly is worth it. Ask yourself this everyday: who are you rounding up to take with you on your titanium trail? Who’s jumping on board? Whose eternity are you altering? Remember, the conductor of the train is always Jesus…so the destination is always a perfect one…and eternal.