This was my personal journal entry from April 14, 2015.
“I imagined that I was towards the top of the World Trade Center after the planes hit on 9-11. I’m on the edge of the window, the glass is totally gone. There’s flames behind me, above me smoke is starting to make me cough. I look down at the drop below my feet and look at the inevitable. I start to get dizzy and think about my life. Did I create a legacy? Will people remember me? What did I leave behind? What is my imprint?’
So I started thinking about this. My job behind me is going up in flames. I can’t stop it or slow it down. All that I gave to the company is burning up from the outside force of the jet fuel. The late nights, overtime, sacrifices with working weekends, not spending days off with Lisa. All of what I traded my life for is burning up to ash. And as I stand on the edge of where I work and look at the jump to come, this is what I have to look forward to. The next few minutes are my future. But my legacy can’t be built on the few minutes left. It cannot be made at the last minute. It has to be worked on. It takes time, takes motivation, and involves people that I care about.
‘So I stand at the edge and I think to myself, “Did I leave a legacy? Did I leave something behind? Did I make the world a better place?” The job did not last. My job will not last. But I need to focus on what will.
So what do I do? Lay up treasures in heaven and not on earth (Matthew 6:19). You can’t serve God and riches (Matthew 6:24). Don’t worry but seek God and His righteousness. He’s got your back (Matthew 6:25-34). What lasts? God’s kingdom, His word, faith, hope, love, spiritual food, spiritual works.”
Seven months later I was let go from the job that I loved.
Around the same time I read a book by Ben Michelis called, Your Next Big Thing. It is a secular self-help book that has some thought provoking questions to help you get unstuck from a boring life. Here are some questions designed to help you, Think Big.
- If you were wealthy beyond reason and no longer had to work…what would you do?
- If you were given the opportunity to create your own 60 second Superbowl commercial where you can say whatever you wanted the world to see…what would you show?
- If you found that you could make one lasting change in the world that would be guaranteed to effect people long after you are gone, what would you make?
- If you can create an organization or company that could make or do something and you were guaranteed of its phenomenal success, what would your organization do? How would it effect people’s lives?
The following is designed to help you Think Far.
- Imagine your great-grandson or someone who will be around after you are gone. Imagine him clearly. What is his name, where does he live, what kind of world does he live in? What does he do, eat for breakfast, hobbies
- Turn the camera on you. What does he think of you? What does he know about you? What does he appreciate about your life?
- What did you contribute to him in his world?
- What did you leave of yourself that enriched his life?
- How did you inspire him to do good, aspire to become, or be stronger?
The places you worked at will not last forever, but the people who worked there will. The cars you drove will rust and break down, but the people you drove around will last forever. The food you ate will be long forgotten and will pass in 24 hours, but the people you ate with will last forever.
If I stopped to think big, and think far, only two things come to mind. God’s Word, and people — for they are the only things that will last forever.
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