I think one of the most common things we struggle with in life today is our own identities. We struggle with coming to terms with who are as a person. Our minds get cluttered with everyday life things, so many things to aspire to that we can’t decide what to do. Throughout high school and even now, I struggle with this. I’m always finding inspiration in something and then get motivated to do it, until something new comes along and I forget about what I wanted to do before.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a makeup artist. I thought it was amazing that I could find this sense of joy in doing makeup. It felt like I was creating art and that was an awesome thought for me. I thought to myself that I would graduate from high school, go to beauty school and get a diploma and from there, I would start my life as a makeup artist or a skin care therapist, either freelancing or in an industry/business. Then, I found my passion for writing.
I realised that makeup was just a hobby and that writing was where my passion really resided. I could immerse myself in books and could write about any idea that popped into my brain. But now, I struggle sometimes. Is this just another hobby? Is something else going to pop up that will cause me to forget all about this? Now that I am in university, studying my Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Publishing and Creative Writing, it’s much more of a fear than a struggle. I don’t want to come out of my degree, finding out that I wasted it all because it was actually just a hobby that I really enjoyed.
So when I read my Bible devotion this morning, I was given a new sense of inspiration for my life. The devotion focused on Solomon and his accounts in the book of Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes 2, he recounts his realisation of the meaninglessness of his life’s efforts. The realisation that all he has done on this Earth is a passing of the wind because once he dies, that’s it. The devotion asked: What is your legacy? When you look back on your life, what do you see that you are leaving behind? What impact have you made through the life you have been given? This opened my eyes and I felt the need to share it with you all.
WHAT IS YOUR LEGACY?
In simpler terms: what are you leaving behind that will make an impact once you die? It’s when you have a realisation like Solomon did, that your life is meaningless, that everything you do is pointless, that you fall into that dreaded pit of depression and hopelessness. Taking some time to focus on the bigger things is a liberating experience. Constantly I find myself doubting whether I have the ability to make a difference in the world. It can be hard to focus on your legacy and it can also be dangerous – but I believe it is an important part of becoming more satisfied with where you are and where you will go in your life.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO THINK BIG
The word “legacy” itself suggests big things. But I think you shouldn’t be afraid to see your legacy as something big. Maybe you see yourself impacting millions of people through speaking words of life into people. Or maybe you see yourself traveling around the world to the poorest countries, to give those people better lives. God created us on purpose and with intention, to follow on to do greater things than Jesus did – he said it to his disciples. I’m encouraged to think big and aspire for great things whenever I read John 15:5: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing“. If God created this whole universe and Jesus healed the sick and raised people from the dead, why should we limit ourselves – the masterpieces of God’s creation?
BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE SMALL THINGS
It’s amazing how important the small things matter. A simple smile to someone, a small kind deed for a stranger can make all the difference in someone’s life. Doing the small, tedious or what may seem insignificant in your life, may be the stepping stone towards the greater vision you have for your life. I want to be an amazing pianist, but that’s not going to happen unless I take the time to spend an hour or more every day to practice – even if it is repetitive and sometimes frustrating.
DISCOVERING YOUR LEGACY
Through the devotion I read this morning, I am inspired to discover my legacy. I don’t think there’s a formula for it. Everyone is going to find their legacy a different way. The struggle for me is first, where to start without feeling too overwhelmed or blowing myself way out of the water to the point where my vision is way too unachievable.
- Think about some of the things that move you to compassion: what are some things that pull on your heartstrings and make you passionate to see a better world?
- Write down a list of the things you are good at or things that you love doing: your hobbies could well be a vessel for your legacy to work through – don’t ignore them
- Reflect on things in your life things in your life that may be crowding up room in your mind for that legacy of yours – take time to declutter
It can be hard to live contentedly with Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord”, because we always want to be in control and know where our lives our headed. I’m learning to open my heart to let God search me and fill me with the desires of my heart that align with his plans for me. It’s already there inside me, all I need to do is get a bit of help from God to tease those hidden parts of his masterpiece out of me.