What do you want your legacy to be? Does that have any real importance?
When I was about 23 years old, I set off alone on a hike off of the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais. It was winter, and I took off from the road into Clearwater Lake, heading towards a beaver pond deep into the woods.
It was snowing, and as I hiked it began snowing heavier and heavier. I remember noticing how huge the flakes were. I got to the beaver pond and hung around for awhile. The snow covered woods and the pond were absolutely beautiful. It was a time of complete and peaceful solitude in this gorgeous setting.
When I started hiking back I noticed that the footprints I had made in the snow on my trip into the pond were already completely covered up. I remember stopping in my tracks and thinking to myself, “this is my life.”
Over time, the tracks I made on this earth will be completely covered over. The time will also come when there will be what some call the “second death.” When everyone who knew me will themselves die. Their own lives will be covered over by the passing of time. There will be no one here who knew me. My name may come up very occasionally by someone who may be interested in family history, but beyond that, it’s a blanket of fresh snow.
The ego struggles so with this truth. You may have just felt it’s sadness and resistence as you read those words.
Here is the Great Truth: the only thing that matters are the imprints or impressions of love we leave within everyone and everything we are in relationship with, while we are walking in this world. Those impressions of love help shape the people we know, who in turn bring your effect on them to everyone they know, who in turn….the ripple effect is endless.
Once you learn the wisdom of dissolving the small self into the ocean of Divine love (the One), you are home free. The “little me” that we can spend so much time obsessing over while we are walking here, doesn’t matter anymore! How freeing is that!? What matters is losing the small self in the ocean of love.
I believe this is what Jesus was talking about when he taught, “the one who loses their life will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) We don’t actually dissolve, we just remember who/what we really are when we lose ourselves in the Whole, the Oneness. We find ourselves in the Whole, the One. Spiritual truth often exists in paradox, and this is one of the greatest for the ego to wrestle with! Losing to find. Fascinating!
I want my legacy to be lost in the lives of people after me, who can hopefully love (and laugh) just a little better because I took a hike on the earth. All the while having no idea that my soul’s journey as Tim Tengblad is in the mix of how they’re living. I’m off in the ether of the ocean of love (the One), learning and growing into more Love.
Only Love matters and is eternal.
So I ask YOU, what do YOU want your legacy to be? I think the question is important in guiding what and how we do what we do with our lives. If you’d be so kind, I would love to hear from you. Perhaps I could post an article later with brief quotes from everyone (with no names), to hopefully help others to reflect on the question.
Remember, you are Love.
Pastor Tim Tengblad