The community group we are in recently finished a study called Living a Life on Loan. Since Kris and I just started attending we only caught the tail end of it. What we did get to participate in was excellent and challenging to me. On one of the last nights of the study the leader took us through an exercise in which we were to write a brief story that was to be a vision statement for how we engage and live out all the moments that God gives to us. We were encouraged to meditate on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and what we learned from the study. We all started with this prayer:
God, You have called me to live out Your ongoing story in this world by investing and inviting others into Your story. So when that day comes when You etch the date of conclusion on the life which You have loaned me to live, here is how I desire my life/vision to be remembered:
Here’s what Kris and I wrote in the next ten minutes:
…I believe that God is unfolding a drama, a story of his glory, love, justice, and goodness that transcends our stories. I want to be a part of and invested in and experience His story in all that I do and strive for. I believe God’s story is about unveiling His glory to all nations of His earth, demonstrating His superiority to every pursuit, gathering praise from every culture, and redeeming from every depth. May all my life be as a humble servant joined in my Father’s work, engaged in all that He would invite me to join Him in. I would have my life be a living sacrifice for the King, an offering poured out to the Lamb. I hope my career, pursuits, and relationships would not be for worldly gain, but for the Kingdom.
…I desire to be remembered as:
-a reflector of Christ’s love and passion for his Bride
-a wife who honored, served, encouraged, and enabled her husband to be who Christ created him to be.
-a mother to our own children and to those who need a mother. One who daily prays for her children, demonstrates Christ’s sacrificial love for and delight in his children. One who calls out their gifts and pushes them to Christ.
-a woman who embraced all that God had for her, who found joy in this adventure and unabashedly, unashamedly was who God created her to be.
-a partner in the story God is writing about His glory, through missions, prayer, mobilization, and evangelism.
-a servant to the needy and downcast. A good listener, an encourager, and a speaker of truth (with love).
-someone who was willing to share my home, time, and belongings to those in need.
-one who was willing to give of our financial resources to further Christ’s Kingdom.
-someone who used the talents, time, brains, and other resources God gave me to glorify Him.
-A lover of Jesus.
Whew. We quietly moved into a time of worship and sharing what we wrote with each other. As I read mine aloud I began to choke up because many of these things I know I am not, and yet my heart longs for them. To be just who God made me to be, without apology, shame, fear…I feel like I’m so far away from that, but oh, how I desire it. To always be willing, no, delighted, to share our home, resources, and time with others…ouch that’s a big one, especially the time. I am so selfish and I like to get things done. Giving time to people means giving up things on my to-do list!
These desired I listed out, the ways I wish to be remembered when my life is over, I cannot say are characteristic of me yet….Yet. However this exercise was a excellent first step, because since writing and sharing them with our little group I’ve thought of them often. When I become consumed with myself and don’t want to be loving, serving, gentle, patient, I will suddenly remember this list. I don’t always like being reminded, sometimes I do just want to be keep on being selfish. But setting my mind on things above and reminding myself of these goals and desires is helping me. I’m no saint and I don’t have my life figured out, but these desires are slowly helping me to focus on what really is important in this life I’ve been loaned.