I used to want to be famous. I wanted to see my name printed on the front of a book as I browsed Barnes & Noble. I wanted the interview on the national television network, and the occasional recognition of my name or face at the local coffee house or grocery store. I knew it was a silly dream: not unattainable, but not necessarily a worthy goal.
I have a new goal now. I want to be like Becky. I didn't know I wanted to be like Becky, until I attended her memorial service yesterday.
I knew Becky through the church choir. I didn't know her well; I knew she worked in a school, that she was a seasoned vocalist, and had a strong faith in God. She died a few weeks ago, in her early sixties, after a 6-month bout with an aggressive cancer.
There was an amazing variety of people at the service. I dare not say funeral, because it really wasn't a time of mourning. It was truly a celebration of one woman's life. Staff and children from the school where she taught music for 16 years, members of our church and the one she attended up to a year ago, members of her traveling singing group... This simple, kind, Christian woman used every bit of God-given talent and faith to encourage and teach others, passing her legacy on through her family, her students, and everyone she came into contact with.
The experience truly made me question, what do I want people to say after I'm gone from this earth? Will I have made a difference? How many people will be able to say that knowing me affected their lives in a positive way, paving the way to stronger relationship with God?
And as Becky's life demonstrates, we never know how much time we have to leave that legacy. I may have 70 minutes or 70 years- who knows? So the decisions I make now, about how I spend my time and who I spend it with, are going to determine what kind of mark I leave on this world. And that kind of mark is more permanent than the ink of a printing press.
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