The sermon this week was about building on the work of those before you – using their legacy as a path forward. It made me think about both what I had built my life upon and what my children would use as stepping stones from my life. It made me feel wholly inadequate. As parents, we try not to make the same mistakes our parents made, and sometimes we succeed in that endeavor – more often, we substitute different mistakes we’ve made all on our own.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to get it right. Perhaps it’s because I have forgotten at times that the stones I’m placing down, the memorials of my life, are just that – simple – sinful – average old me. The rocks I should be giving them to stand on should be only those Christ himself laid down for us. It makes me think of the lyrics, “I’m so very ordinary, nothing special on my own.” Therein lies the problem. My path is full of detours and rough patches, brambles, and broken stones and I’d rather have given my children a more perfect path.
I wonder though, even if given a perfect path, would I have followed it or set out on my own. After all, the perfect path isn’t always the easiest. Perhaps I would have still strayed like the disciples – they had the stones from the path-maker himself and yet, they faltered. Perhaps, that is the point of a legacy – a memorial. It’s big enough that when we stray we can always find our way back to it. Like so many stacked stones above the water or a lighthouse in a storm – piece by piece, brick by brick the path has been raised so that we can see it when we are lost.
That legacy is a treasure. Our weakness is made perfect in His strength when we build on Him. Hopefully, my children will take the good, dismiss the bad, and make a way that will also be full of the grace of God. And as they grow older, I will keep building and building – trying to use only the stone from His quarry.
The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. 2 Samuel 22:47