"We were not put on earth to be remembered, but to prepare for eternity."-Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life
So many people strive so hard to be remembered, whether by friends, family, or future generations. Some may build things, such as buildings, bridges, etc. that will stand the test of time. Others may write memoirs to be read by those who come after them, or even inscribe something in concrete that years later they can point to and say 'I was here'. I've even heard of people sending messages to the future by putting things in time capsules hoping that somehow they will outlive their time on earth.
Most of us want to make our mark here on earth so that we will be remembered by future generations, yet this striving for a personal legacy can be futile. I recently read that James Dobson, esteemed Christian psychiatrist, spent his college days longing to win a tennis champion. He achieved his dream and reveled in the accomplishment, but years later he had the trophy that his efforts had won delivered to him with a note that explained how the trophy, which had been prominently displayed in the athletic department had been deposited in the trash when the building had been remodeled.
Accomplishments, awards, achievements and such do not last, yet we spend the better part of our lives chasing after such things. Why? The search for prestige, honor, respect has an allure, together with the desire to make a name for oneself. Even evangelic efforts can be twisted such that the accomplishment of leading people to the Lord becomes a metaphorical ribbon one pins to his or her chest to proclaim that I'm someone special.
Well, my friends, you are special, but not for anything that you have done. Rather, you have been made special through Him you gave His life for you. Any legacy you leave should not point to yourself, but to Him and all that you are given (success, prowess, wealth), comes by His hand and not yours. Work not for accomplishment, success, wealth, power, or honor, but for Him, that He might be glorified and that your life and any remembrance of it that remains points to the Lord above all else.