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They Are Watching

We get one shot - one life...

To make a difference in this world. To leave a legacy that inspires, encourages, and challenges those who come after us. To show the next generation what truly matters. To point others to the God who adopted and redeemed us.

Each and every one of us have been given this incredible gift and responsibility. It shouldn't be something we take lightly or put on the back burner. Life is short - these are the things that live on long after we are gone. And THAT is a big deal...worthy of deliberate attention and passion.

What We Say vs. What They See

The other day I was showing my son a picture of what I thought was a bulldozer of some sort. I pointed at the yellow machine and excitedly told him: "Look, I'm working on your construction site birthday party!". He put on the most pathetic looking face and with tears in his eyes, he said: "Momma that's not a construction site, that's a yellow tractor. See it has wheels! Bulldozers don't have wheels. I thought you were going to do a construction site birthday?".

Children are funny. They pick up on the little details - the details that all come together to show what is actually happening. It didn't matter that I told him I was working on a construction site party for him, what mattered to him was what he saw. And what he saw wasn't lining up with what he was hearing. In other words, his belief in my words was lacking; because, in his view, my actions were lacking.

As we grow up, we lose a lot of our wonder, innocence, and imagination of childhood, but I think to a certain extent we keep that eye for detail. We hear what people say and we look at their actions to make a decision of what we should believe. Children and adults alike have this innate, God-given understanding that in order for our words to hold weight, our actions have to send the same message.

What we say matters.

But so does what they see.

Legacies That Lead

If we want the next generation and those who come after us to be zealous in prayer, we ourselves must be zealous in prayer. We show them that prayer matters and prayer is valuable not with our words, but with our actions. They find us praying earnestly on our own and with others. They watch us deliberately stop what we are doing, and pour out our hearts to our Father in our day to day lives. They see having an active relationship with God in prayer as something alive and real. Something comforting. Something amazing and powerful. Something life changing.

Because it is and they are watching.

If we want the next generation and those who come after us to open heartedly love and serve others, we ourselves must open heartedly love and serve others. We show them what it means to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). They find us sacrificing our convenience for others wellbeing. They watch us purposefully put ourselves in uncomfortable situations so that we can walk beside hurting people. They see open heartedly loving and serving others should be something we are passionate about as Christians. Something meaningful. Something impactful. Something life changing.

Because it is and they are watching.

If we want the next generation and those who come after us to ardently pursue the wisdom of God's word, then we ourselves must ardently pursue the wisdom of God's word. We show them the value of spending time in God's word. They find us studying and reading and meditating upon it. They watch us gathering together to learn and talk about it. They see time spent in God's word as something valuable and important. Something exciting. Something encouraging and challenging. Something life changing.

Because it is and they are watching.

The first step in building a legacy to pass on to others and the next generation, is to passionately and intentionally find these things valuable ourselves. They are watching, and they are measuring what we say against what they see.

So let them find us passionate and intentional.

Let find them find us diligent.

Let them find the real us zealously pursuing the real God.

Each and every one of us will leave a legacy, the question is:

What will it be - what will they see?

"Let the message about Christ, in its richness, fill your lives..."

- Colossians 3:16a (NLT)

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