Legacy and Influence


Maybe it’s my age. 

Perhaps it’s simply the dawning of a new realization.

Regardless of the origin for this motivation and drive, the need for establishing legacy is taking center stage for me.

My ancestry is very blurred: I knew my maternal grandmother, but met my grandfather only once or twice before he died—all prior to my teenage years. Family dysfunction was complicated by the fact that my parents secretly eloped, resulting in the severing of relationships. My father was not welcomed in my grandfather’s home, so our family rarely visited, and I didn’t see much of my grandmother until after the death of my grandfather.

On my father’s side, I never met or even saw pictures of either of his parents. At age 9, my dad moved to Canada from Ireland with his mother and sisters—leaving his father and a few other siblings back home—never to see them again. My Dad was somewhat of a black sheep in his family, and though my siblings have different experiences, my memories of relationships with aunts, uncles, and cousins are very limited.

Becoming Christians infused new significance into the meaning of family! The trajectory of our family changed forever.

With that backdrop, let me ask you a few questions:

  • What are the four names of your maternal and paternal grandparents?
  • What are the eight names of your great-grandparents?

Many of us don’t know most of those names!

In other words, for so many of us, in three or four generations, no one may even remember your name!

If our lives are like a rock thrown into the water, though the rock quickly falls to the bottom, the ripples continue to flow outward. That is legacy.

Our individual life can actually change the trajectory of future generations—influencing others by imparting values, vision, and significance. That’s exactly what happened to my family!

Living with all this in mind, the life I lead and the choices I make are all filtered through my life purpose: Leave a legacy! Influence the next generation for Jesus!