As I ease on into my (gulp) late 50s, I often find myself thinking about the legacy I leave behind. One of my dearest friends on the planet is facing the probability of leaving her earthly body in the not so distant future; yet, every time I talk with her, she still cracks me up (and I think I might do the same for her, too). Yesterday, on my birthday, we had a great chat and a great prayer session. She has been feeling pretty puny, and we talked about how she has prepared her three beautiful kids (now all over 18, but these were kiddos who loved on our three Florida Labs like they were their own, so I can still call them "kids") for grace and mercy after she heads to Heaven to be Jesus's personal jester.
Not surprisingly, the sermon yesterday on the first Sunday of Advent was about being prepared and making preparations. We all get the tree and the gifts and the cards (is anyone else still sending these historical artifacts?) ready for Christmas, but are we truly preparing our hearts for our Higher Power to come along and whisk us away at any given moment? I can most assuredly say that I get caught up in the "temporary trappings of this world" as Nichole Nordeman sings in one of my favorite songs, Legacy (take a listen; you won't be sorry). But when it comes down to it (what is "it"? It's like Curly said in City Slickers, "Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean s***"), those earthly things will mean very little. What is that one thing for you?
My one thing is a few things all wrapped up into one----God; my serenity; Dave; my family (including all of our canine members) and friends; my passion for work, love, and life; and a desire to leave behind a legacy that is more than WHAT I did but WHO I am. I know....that's a lot, isn't it? And I can honestly say I stink at some of the legacy part sometimes because I get caught between wanting to make things right and "letting go and letting God".
Some things just hurt my heart, and I can't find a way to stay silent about them. Recently, on Facebook (you know wherever this is headed with that intro might not be great----hang on), one of my connections posted a beautiful sentiment about donating her organs after she leaves this earth. Her point was, "I don't need them; I sure hope someone else can". I loved it. Now what could possibly go wrong with this post, right???? Wait for it.....Shortly thereafter, one of her friends posted something to the effect that she was also willing to donate her organs, as long as she could put in a clause that an organ wouldn't be donated to someone from the opposite political party to which she belongs. Yep, and the language was WAY worse than I just said....way worse than even Curly had said. What the what??? I struggled....for a minute.....about whether or not to respond, but I couldn't keep in my feelings about humanity. I simply don't understand how you could turn a beautiful post about a beautiful gift into something so inane (really, worse than inane if you had read the post, but we'll go with that for now). I can promise you right now that anyone, whether you vote the same way I do or not, is welcome to my organs once I leave this earth and go hang out with my Creator, who gave me those organs in the first place! But love wins, doesn't it, because those of us who choose to donate our organs, for instance, may never know (or, who knows? maybe we will) who gets our heart after we're not using it any more. I pray that my heart is worthy.
I've talked before about how, when I travel for work, (which is a bunch lately), I try to always tell the gate agents more than a grunt of "hello" as I scan my boarding pass. Instead, I try to remember to tell them that I hope they have an amazing day. The smiles I get (and the surprise on their faces) is worth every brain cell it takes for me to remember to do that. And this morning, as I boarded my flight WAY too early in the morning (after being spoiled and getting to sleep in with Dave and the pups for the past week), one of the flight attendants saw me find my seat then wished me a happy birthday! Good beats bad every time! Thank you for those of you who read this blog. Your notes and responses truly lift me up.
I am traveling up to the North Dakota/Minnesota border to teach some administrators this week, and I am so very excited (and prepared, by the way, for the frigid temps of below zero one day) to spread the good news of what good teachers are doing and how good administrators can help them get even better and build relationships at the same time.
I pray that you have an eye for the good this week, and fight "bad" with "good". We're building our legacy, minute by minute. Be prepared!