Friday, February 13, 2009

Your Legacy After Death

Until recently when I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension I began to actually think about Death. I was so overwhelmed with the information I was reading on the internet that I couldn’t find anything positive to think. I read that ten years ago most diagnosed patients were dying within a matter of two years. Two years. I looked at my children and thought, “I will never see you grow up”. The more I began to learn about the disease I realized that through the many medications irrupting in this rare disease life expectancy has been raised from five years to twenty years and even more in some cases…(

Nobody wants to talk about death but I think it’s important…It is one of those topics we prefer not to deal with. The first thing you might think about with this topic is what death is like? But I think we’re missing the point. We should be asking ourselves: what kind of legacy will I leave behind if I were to die tomorrow? What contribution did I leave in this world? I know there are lots of agnostics out there that see this in black and white. We live and we die, that’s it. But those that are left behind, what about them? We’re in a time where some want to do everything possible to save the Earth, stop Global Warming, The Fight Against Aids in Africa and everywhere, Feed the Children, but what about people. What can we do but to live a life where we exemplify plain old values and moral beliefs that will eventually lead to uplift all these other great efforts? If we really cared about these causes then we’d surely practice what we preached. We would try to be better people through our actions not just words.

Do people really know you? Or do they just know your face and what you’ve told them. Do people really know what you’re all about and what your stands are? When I was in the eleventh grade taking Literature, my teacher taught us to show, not tell in our writing. I think this motto should be used in our daily lives. We need to SHOW people who we are by being an upright example; not just TELL them who we are because ultimately words are just words, until you put some action into them. For example, if you’ve given some form of advice to someone, was it given from the heart? Or were you feeding your ego by saying the words you knew they wanted to hear? Is your life a leading example of what you preach? Can we truly live with one foot in and one foot out? Be one person here and another there? In your good intentions have you lead people by giving godly advice for a life fulfilled in blessings or have you given the advice and then not bothered to ask years later how they’re doing.

“Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.” Ecclesiastes 9:17

I have started to reflect on my life and the way I’m living it because that is how I’m showing the world who I truly am. I can say all I want to people; that I’m a nice person and love to do this and love to do that, but nobody should believe me until they’ve actually seen me do it. Right? Are we followers or are we leaders? Do you enjoy spending time with that person because he/she makes you a better person or because he/she is cool and lets you slide in the areas of your life that are not right?

“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5

We all know deep inside when we’re doing something wrong. You can say all you want; what’s right to one person is wrong to another…but deep inside you know. We all do. We can cover it up as much as we want, we can bury it way back there where nobody –not even you, remember it. You can remove yourself from the people that will scorn your wrong doings, but nothing will ever take away that little voice in your head. The voice that’s there all the time, you try to disguise it, you try to overlook it, you try to be smarter than it…But it’s still there. Knocking at your soul, wanting to get in. Telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. How long will you live like this? Have you ever experienced the freedom of letting go? Letting go of all that is unworthy in your life. Being a true person to those that surround you should be what we leave behind after we die.

"For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

What will they say about you? He was a nice person… she was so pretty… He was so young…I knew him through such and such person. What will they remember about you when nobody else is listening…He belittled me…she made me feel like I was bad in this…He criticized me all the time…-That’s it? Is that the legacy that you want to leave behind?
How about this: He made me a better person. She gave me hope and made me feel important. He was always there for me… she taught me this and he showed me that… I’m going to continue his or her journey to be this or to do that…Better?
I’m not saying we won’t make mistakes…I’m not saying I’ve been perfect. None of us are; but we can certainly try. The Lord knows when you’re trying to do what’s good, even if those around you don’t even notice it. He is everlasting and is even in your thoughts. Your good deeds will not go unseen. Let us walk with our hearts and not just talk the talk but also walk the walk by showing with our actions what we’re all about.

“I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies.” Psalms 119:59

“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Ephesians 4:28


Jo Jo said...

Love it! Thought provoking...

Maggie E. Swain said...

Deep Elizabeth, but very very true.

Lorayne Nazur said...

Liz, your blog is amazing. you must have been hopping in your chair when Chuck was speaking yesterday.. it was like he was reading from your blog. I can't wait to read the rest. I'm SO glad I met you. I'm going to be praying for you my friend!!

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