Years ago, life coaches and other personal consultants used to talk a lot about the stages of our lives. They highlighted the fact that after the drive for success that consumes most of our earning years, we all ought shift our focus to striving for significance.
I concur with those thoughts, but upon the death of a dear friend this past week, I have been more inclined to talk about the impact of our personal legacies.
The dictionary calls a “legacy” anything that is passed down from the past. In a spiritual context, we are talking about character qualities, Biblical mindsets, and a perspective on life that has Christ at its center. This sort of legacy leaves a kind of path for others to follow and the path leads to the throne room of God.
My friend, Mrs. Fischer left just such a legacy. Having taught for about 30 years (15 of them here at Stoneybrooke), she was the quintessential classroom teacher. She was prepared, creative, patient and intuitive about each child’s spirit. She knew the material, but maybe more important, she knew her students.
Her focus was always on their character development.
Each year, she posted several sayings on her wall. One of them was particularly impactful for the kids. In fact, yesterday upon learning of her death, I began to hear from her students. Many of them recalling the statement: “What’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular.” One of her students teaches math in Texas and that saying is now posted in her classroom!
Those young “twenty somes” referred to her legacy with comments like: “One of the wisest women I’ve ever met.” “My faith grew immensely my 6th grade year.” “I owe much of what I am to her.”
And the alumni parents chimed in with their own perspective: “What a blessing to have her touch our boys lives.” “She gave such wise counsel.” “Our family loved Mrs. Fischer. She will always hold a special place in my heart.”
This week, as we all deal with the routines of our daily lives, perhaps we would be best served to think about leaving a legacy. How do we want to be remembered? What do we want to be remembered for?
How are you and I creating a path to the Savior that others can follow? Who are we influencing for good? Who will remember our words, our love and our counsel?
Let’s be about the business of creating a Godly legacy!