The Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them.” (Deuteronomy 31:16 NLT)
Moses had given the last forty years of his life to leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, teaching them to follow God, and preparing them to enter their God-given promised land. He had just spent an entire month reviewing all that God had done and taught them. He had put Joshua, their new leader, in place. Now he learned that after he was gone, the people would abandon God and break his covenant.
Since Moses didn’t get to build cities or temples or palaces or establish the national boundaries of a great nation, all he had to leave behind as a legacy was his influence on the people who were standing before him and a collection of books and stories! And then to hear God say that the people were going to break the covenant with God and worship idols! It must have felt like, “What’s the point!?” (Who could have known that Moses had lived and written the first five books of what would be the most-read book in all of human history!)
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been reading, thinking, and writing a lot about leaving a legacy. I know this – a real legacy isn’t property or buildings or possessions. A real legacy doesn’t come from a position or from popularity. A real legacy is the influence you and I have had in people’s lives. It’s character demonstrated and imitated. It’s lessons learned and lived and stories told and repeated.
We’re already building the legacy we will leave behind, one decision, one action, one relationship at a time. Is what you are building the legacy you really want to leave?
So for me today, the point is this: If I will simply be who I am, live what I believe, and do what I can do, God will take care of all the ups and downs after I’m gone.
Father, Please help me to do the very best I can with “Here and Now” and completely leave “After I’m Gone” to you. May I faithfully live my one-day-at-a-time life, love you and the people in my world, and leave the rest up to you. Amen.