Have you looked in the mirror lately? If you have, you’ve probably noticed a few changes as time’s gone by. A few more wrinkles, a few less hair follicles, and a horrifying shift in body weight. Let’s face it, we’re all getting older---and it isn’t pretty. If you’re over 50 it’s downright ugly.
Have you looked in the mirror lately? If you have, you’ve probably noticed a few changes as time’s gone by. A few more wrinkles, a few less hair follicles, and a horrifying shift in body weight. Let’s face it, we’re all getting older---and it isn’t pretty. If you’re over 50 it’s downright ugly.

Living in a culture that obsesses over youth, beauty, and success can make living for the eternal difficult, but each of us must decide what really matters in life and what will remain when we put all our toys back in the box.

The problem is, most of us don’t really want to put all our stuff back in the box. Why? Because like King Solomon, we’ve spent a lifetime wanting, working, striving, and accumulating, even though in the end the wise King tells us it’s all meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Not a very comforting thought, we muse, but perhaps a necessary one. If all of this is meaningless then what the heck are we doing? What’s really going to last? Maybe you’ve found yourself asking some of these questions, or maybe you’ve never stopped long enough to see what all the working and striving is really doing to your heart. If you need a gentle reminder of what will really be important when the game is over, here are a few things to consider:

The legacy we leave

A legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another. It’s what people remember about you and the life you led. Your legacy is the chance to leave behind something meaningful that will last; something that tells others what was important to you. Legacies aren’t about wishful thinking, they are well thought out and intentional. If you want to leave a legacy that will last, start by asking yourself how you want to be remembered. Remember, legacies are eternal.

The people we’ve touched

The people you touch are part of your legacy. They have been impacted by your values, principles and core beliefs. The impressions you leave on their lives will last forever and will no doubt be passed onto another generations.

The generosity we’ve shown

Generosity touches and changes other people’s lives. It means giving to another with no expectation of payback. Think of a time when someone was generous toward you, either with their time, attention, or finances. How did it make you feel and how lasting was the effect?

The love we’ve shown

When the game is over and it all has to go back in the box, what will those who were most important to you remember about how you loved them? Was it providing a bigger home, a fancier car, a larger bank account? Or was it making memories, spending time, and building value into their lives? How you love shows what is really important to you and the people around you.

Being known

Think about the people in your life that have touched you the most, the ones that gave you a window into their soul, and asked for one into yours. This is the heart of being known. When the game is over, who will say they really knew you? Who will have been impacted by your life and who will carry your values and principle into the next generation?

Back at you

What are you doing to build a legacy that will last?

Author's Bio: 

Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. Her show airs on several radio stations as well as the Internet. They can be downloaded from www.ritaschulte.com/category/podcast or heard on Women’s Radio Network, as well as iTunes at Heartline Podcast. Rita writes for numerous publications and blogs. Her articles have appeared in Counseling Today Magazine, Thriving Family, and Christianity Today, Kyria. Her book Shattered: Moving Beyond Broken Dreams releases in September 2013 by Leafwood Publishers. Follow her at www.ritaschulte.com, on FB http://www.facebook.com/RitaASchulte and twitter @heartlinepod.