Living Backwards

Recent studies show that one out of every one persons will die at some point in their lifetime.

With that being said, we all have a day coming where family, friends and other random people who assumed they were our friends will gather to reflect and (hopefully) celebrate our lives. My question to you is simply this:

How do you want to be remembered?

I’m not talking about the generic, “Oh, he was such a good man” or “She was such a sweet lady”—you and I both know that people will say that regardless of whether you live like hell or not.

But what do you want your legacy to be? What is it that you want people to know about you before the preacher stands up to try to remind (or persuade) them?

It’s a tough question, isn’t it? This is the question that was brought up in our life group a few weeks ago. It’s the question I’ve thought about fairly often since then. It’s the question that I’ve set aside a page in my Moleskine journal for. It’s the question that sparked an hour-ish long discussion over our dinner table last week.

When we think about legacy, it’s so easy to think long-term. But legacies are not made in the long-term. Legacies are built brick-by-brick in the day-to-day grind of life. Our legacies are forged a little more with each setting of the sun.

Want to be remembered as a loving spouse? Love your spouse today. Want to be remembered as a beloved parent? Be intentional with your kids today. Want to be remembered for your generosity? Start giving today. Want to be remembered for your faith? Walk with Jesus today. If you want your legacy to be remembered tomorrow, get started on it today.

So what do you want your legacy to be? I think that’s a question you should ask yourself. Not just in passing—really ask yourself. Make some notes. Do some reflecting. And then once you decide what you want to be known for, try living each day with the end in mind. Live backwards.

What Do You Dream Of?

I’m generally not one to walk around with my head in the clouds; I’m far too much of a realist (aka pessimist) for that. But just for the sake of conversation, here’s a question for you: What do you dream of? I’m not talking about those “post-late-night-mexican-food” dreams. I mean aspirations, goals, the type of dreams that keep you going even on your worst days?

About two years ago Kelli and I took a weekend vacation just to get out of town. I remember on the drive up we took a sheet of paper and wrote down some of our dreams and goals in life. I still have that paper stuck to the inside cover of my journal, so I thought I’d take a chance and share a few of my dreams with you (as long as you promise not to laugh).

Write a book.
I love to read—which makes me want to write. Obviously, I write on this blog. I’ve also been fortunate enough to write some articles for 1798 Magazine. But I really I want to write a book. I have no idea what I would write a book on, but I know at least two people would read it. Thanks Kelli and mom.

Earn my doctorate.
In all fairness, having a child changed my perspective on this one a bit. I’m not willing to exchange precious moments with my children for a couple of letters before my name, but maybe someday down the road I’ll have the time (and money…crossing my fingers) to pursue that doctorate degree.

Plant/pastor a church.
I know these are two very different animals (and by animals, I mean that both can maul you and potentially leave you with some nasty scars.) Nevertheless, if I’m honest, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of planting or pastoring a church someday. Also, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t remember that I am far too inexperienced and unwise to plant or pastor a church. Maybe someday.

Build a house.
This is at the pinnacle of my list. I’m a family guy, so very few things make me more excited than dreaming of designing and building a place for my family to laugh, cry, play, fight, eat, sleep and make memories together.

What about  you? What do you dream of? Do you dream at all? If not, you really should.