Thursday, May 14, 2015

Your memoir: Leave a legacy, finish well

“How does a person finish well?” Pastor Sid challenged us.

Once people get to my age, ears perk up when such topics surface.

Younger people’s ears should perk up, too, because time marches on more quickly than we realize, and we all need to take action now to finish well.

Finishing: It’s a sobering word, a serious reality.  Each of us is approaching the finish line. Some of us will reach it sooner than others will.

“How do you make your lives matter?” Sid continued. “How do you leave a good legacy?”

Let’s be honest. Don’t we worry that our lives might not matter? That we might not leave a good legacy?

In his sermon, Sid shared with us a few ways to finish well. And being the memoir geek that I am, of course I applied them to the importance of writing our stories.

So, then, as I share Sid’s thoughts with you, think memoir. Think your memoir.

Sid spoke of the power of partnership—of sharing our lives with others. Investing our lives in them. Connecting with them. Shepherding our flock. Teaching them about God. And isn’t that what writing and giving a memoir is all about?

Then Sid got personal. He asked us to assess ourselves. He asked, “How willing are you to give to others, to invest in others?”

So, applying that to writing memoir, let me ask: How willing are you to invest your time and talents in finishing your memoir?

The more we invest our lives in others, the more time we invest in preparing and sharing our stories with them, the better we will finish.

Sid also spoke of the power of perseverance. He reminded us of Paul in the New Testament: Despite his imprisonment for preaching the gospel, he kept partnering with Timothy and persevering with him (2 Timothy). He mentored Timothy despite his personal suffering. Paul knew he was approaching the end of his life, but he didn’t quit. He focused on investing in Timothy even on the days he didn’t feel like it.

He knew God would help him finish well, and indeed he did. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” What glorious words. What a great role model Paul is for all of us.

Pastor Sid asked us to assess ourselves: “If you were struck mute, what would people know about your life and the way you ran your race?”

He challenged us to be difference-makers: ordinary people making a difference for eternity, ordinary people leaving a legacy that lasts.

Your memoir can be a priceless legacy for your kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, friends, relatives, and maybe even strangers. Your memoir is one way to exercise the power of partnership that Sid spoke of. Your memoir is one way to exercise the power of perseverance.

“What does God mean for you to do?” Sid asked, and he left us with this challenge: “Run with everything you have!”

Leave your memoir as a legacy for your family.
Do it.
Do it now.

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