Pouring a fresh cup of coffee this morning and thinking about how cool it would be to tap into the coffee business. My Grandmother just told me about six weeks back that her brother owned a Community Coffee plant in Monroe, Louisiana (Jack Kelley). How cool is that? Our family owned a community coffee plant. I love the taste of Community Coffee (almost as much as Starbucks). It just really makes me think about the risk he had to take to get that bad boy off the ground. I can only imagine the amount of hard work and time that was invested. Was he able to leave the plant to someone he trusted; to his kids or to a friend? Did he sell out and use the money for something even bigger or did he just blow it on something else? I will definitely have to dig a bit to pull out the details on that one. How cool would it be to know that one day you would be left something as big as a Community Coffee plant? That opportunity would be amazing!
Family History and Legacy is interesting for me. I have not exactly been left a Community Coffee plant. To be honest, to think about what our parents left us is extremely painful at times, yet some parts are so mysteriously gratifying. Although things have been tough, we are struggling well today.
Option #1 – Leave a Legacy
Our mom invested in us Spiritually, she followed Christ and submitted her life to God – not perfectly but she did. She loved us, she loved others, she loved life and we saw it. She got all that from her mother who got that from her Father – my great grandfather. They have instilled a deep rich love for God and Christ that I am so grateful for. Even though I have struggled through this life I know I have a Father God who cares for me and has invested in me and protects me even today. So my mom, grandmother and great grandfather loved Christ – for some reason they all chose to settle down with people who couldn’t care less. Two very important words come to mind: equally yoked. This inequality in Christ and contrasting views of life have made a ripple in our family that we are still battling today.
Option #2 – Leave a Painful Leftover
When I think of leftovers, I think of the stuff that we were left with and are still struggling through today even with God leading and guiding us. We are still paying for what our parents left us. This isn’t your normal mid-life crisis bullet list – we were left with some crazy stuff (Drugs and Alcohol use, domestic violence, loss of parents, divorce, shame, guilt and physical abuse just for starters) that has really brought all of us to our knees to focus on God’s plan for our lives. At times we have allowed our parents decisions to impact our choices in a negative way which brings about more of the same. What a quick lesson.
Myra and I talk about this every now and then about how God must have a plan for our lives – it is really amazing when we look back and see what we have experienced and how God has protected us. The trick is for us to do the hard work and trust God to help lead us into a place where we can leave a legacy for our kids. It’s time to throw out the leftovers.
At the Leadership Summit Bill Hybels presented the life of Mother Teresa as an amazing testimony to leaving a legacy. She clearly heard God’s call on her life and left everything she knew to go care for the sickest in the world. She did not live to leave a legacy she just answered a call to care for others which left an amazing impact. She was not all jacked up on her ego, escaping in drugs, trying to be like everyone else and buy a better life. She simply prayed that God would use her and that He would speak to her and that He would love her. He did. Even when she did not feel so loved, she still did His work. She left an amazing legacy.
Am I going to inherit and pass on a successful coffee plant or even something greater? We were designed to leave a legacy of love and impact; to let God work through us. We were designed to pass on His legacy. As I begin to think about the legacy that was left for Myra and me and our brothers and sisters it makes me want to live a life that our kids will one day be proud to share with their friends and family. That we have had a glimpse of the life that we were created for and that we will make the choices that will leave a legacy that will outlast us.
Also, here’s one last thing you might be interested in, get a Legacy Journal to get started thinking about the legacy you are leaving your family, friends and community: http://www.legacyjournal.org/