Legacy: “Something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor.”
Legacy in is the good stuff, right. The great genes passed to me by mother that help me look at least 5 years younger than I am. Or my love of music, also from my mother’s side of the family, which produces a constant flow of music from my heart and pours out of my lips. I can’t stop it, I can’t start it, it just is. So I praise the Lord for the Legacy left me.
Legacy has a dark side though, all that negative stuff is passed down as well. Recently I met a large portion of my mother’s extended family. Great aunts, regular aunts, and uncles whom I cherish and love. I noticed a trait that all the women had in common. Our stomach area tends to be whee we all carry any excess fat. Whether short or tall, thin or not so thin, there it is. For years I have hated my body because of this trait!! Forcing myself to look at the dark side of legacy brought peace and a new acceptance of myself.
I have another legacy,from the dark side. This one spews from the same same heart filled with music, and from the same mouth, that sings God’s praises. I am a fantastic smart ass. I mean, I am good, I can get people rolling! And most of the time what comes out is harmless, just funny, and focused on myself. Lately though, I’ve noticed the mean tone I take when I focus it on others. And that tone rings with more truth than I want to admit.
I noticed it at the reunion, when one of my uncles recoiled at a comment I made. (And he is the one with thick skin.) Or the blank stares from new friends who don’t realize I am ‘just kidding’ (or am I).
Yesterday, I said something to a new friend that, at the time, I thought was funny. That friend did not agree and those sharp knives returned to me in full force. Looking back, it was something I am frustrated with and instead of being honest with myself it spewed out through sarcasm. As I reeled from the knives sticking out of my heart, I sat in the place where all my previous stings had landed. I didn’t like it.
Can legacy be changed? Can a way of speaking,started in my youth, be shut down? I hope so because apologies really don’t take those words back. “I’m sorry does not apply balm to the wound”. I have apologized to my friend, and I have yet to hear back. My uncle, I owe an apology to (hopefully he is reading this). But my Lord, I have wounded Him the most. He blessed me with a voice to speak kindness and encouragement to others, and to make beautiful music in His name. Instead I have used it for a vile purpose and wounded those He loves (and I love).
This is my new prayer, would you please pray it over me, for the one who gives life is the only one who can take this away.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14