All my life, I've walked under the halo of my grandmother's prayers. It was thanks to her that I knew God from my earliest age - she was the one who suggested that I attend Sunday school as soon as I was potty trained - and avoided many of the pitfalls of the teenage and young adult years. She instilled the power of prayer, which I witnessed for myself from my own school-girl problems until now, and through her I've learnt the power of a legacy. Her own mother was illiterate and emotionally abusive, but she decided that she would be the opposite with her children. She made her home a haven for me after my mother's maternity leave ended until my first day of school, and after that, every evening after school.
It's only as I've got older that I've been able to appreciate the power of her legacy. In a direct sense, it made me feel nurtured and loved. In an indirect sense, it filled me with gifts and talents. This may sound whimsical, but I've noticed that behind very creative people is often a good, obedient ancestor. It doesn't even have to be that far back - a grandfather or a great grandmother - whose godly life sowed positive seeds for his or her descendants. When you're aware of the origins of those talents, it's humbling. You're filled with gratitude to be a mere link in a beautiful chain, something much bigger than yourself, and reaping those benefits. They range from knowing your calling from an early age, to having doors of opportunity opened to you in various arenas. But when you aren't aware, it can get ugly. You become arrogant and conceited, and perhaps you wind up squandering it. The very gift is then a vehicle for your undoing.
I'm not where I want to be. But I have the clarity to see where I'm headed and an appreciation for what opened doors for me. With that comes a reverence, a respect for the sacrifices of those who preceded me, and paved the road that I now walk. It makes me want to craft my own living carefully so that a niece or nephew (I don't want children) can walk under the trees that I've planted. What will be your legacy?