This morning as I read through 1 Chronicles 1-9 (Old Testament) I found pages & pages full of names. But sprinkled through these pages were a few random details that set some of those names apart. There were plenty of names listed with nothing else, no words recorded that would cause others to remember them. But for those names with “random details” included, there seemed to be a variety of reasons… and sadly, not all of them were positive. A few names were recognized for their faithfulness, a few others for their unfaithfulness. Some were defined by their focus on worldly accomplishments, and yet others valued for their godly wisdom.
What a sobering reminder that each of us will leave behind a legacy… and whether our name will be spoken with respect & affection, or with disappointment, or even apathy, each of our names will be included in someone else’s genealogy records. All of us have the same “important choices” to make, the same opportunities to influence others along our journey. But these are not necessarily the world’s idea of important choices, those that lead to accumulated worldly wealth or determine the prestigious circles we often strive so hard to be part of. The “important choices” I speak of are those we make in every day circumstances… such as, whether we choose to serve others or serve ourselves, or perhaps even more important, who it is that we that will choose to follow.
As I meditated on these scriptures, I wondered if my name will be written in the hearts of those around me… whether or not it is ever written down in the pages of a history book. Will my name, sadly, be just that – another “name” included in someone’s genealogy, but never remembered as a blessing to those who knew me? Will I be remembered as one whose unfaithfulness caused heartbreak? Will mine be one whose lack of effort to reach others with the love of Jesus added to the brokenness of a watching world? Or will my name be lovingly passed on to future generations as one who graciously loved others, and in loving, affected those who were watching? Did I inspire someone along this earthly journey to know and pursue Jesus, the source of that kind of amazing love? And in doing so, will my name continue the legacy that my Grandma Lettie passed on to me, a godly legacy of spreading “joy” and “healing” and “purpose” and “hope” and “rest”?
What shall we, who call ourselves followers of Jesus, do with this truth? Will we just become another ancestor, whose name is part of someone else’s genealogy records? A name that will not inspire others to actually carry on our legacy? Or will our name carry with it a legacy of loving God and loving others… one whose influence and inspiration encouraged them to watch for glimpses of HIS love along their journey? And, will they raise up yet another generation who will reflect a life of loving the one true God who actually loved us first!
Oh, Father in heaven, grant me this one petition… that my name might carry with it a beautiful legacy, and not be just another name on a page!