How Will People Remember You?

Welcome! We celebrate Martin Luther King, Junior Day on January 15. Every year we remember this great man of God who fought peaceably for civil rights.

King was murdered in 1968. More than 100 years after the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery, a peace-loving African-American was murdered simply because he wanted equal treatment for those of his race. It’s still impossible to stomach 50 years after his assassination.

But I believe God assigns all of us to a certain time period. Abraham Lincoln was born to be president from 1861 to 1865. God chose him to lead the United States through the Civil War.

King, Jr., was born to fight for civil rights during the 1960s. Martin Luther was born in 1483 to launch the Protestant Reformation. No one else could’ve done their jobs as well as Lincoln, King, Jr., and Luther.

You and I were also born to do specific work. What is your work? I don’t mean your job. Earning money’s important, but most people’s jobs don’t define who they are. There are exceptions, I suppose. Ministers, doctors, police, and soldiers probably define themselves by their jobs more than a flight attendant or a mechanic. All these jobs are important and necessary, but I don’t believe we are born to do a day job.

People will remember you for organizing Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift donations. They’ll eulogize your dedicated service to Stone United Methodist Church’s soup kitchen. In your obituary they’ll praise your willingness to drop everything and change a friend’s tire.

So what’s you calling? It’s probably whatever makes you happiest, and when you’re doing it, you never feel like you’re wasting time. I’m sure you can guess mine: writing. But I’m also called to motherhood and Christian service. I never feel I’m wasting time when I write, take care of my children, or work for the Lord.

It’s so easy to pour our energy into insignificant activities. A friend of mine calls this “The tyranny of the urgent.” You know, when you put off writing an encouraging card to a friend who’s recuperating at St. Paul’s so you can run to Walmart for a gallon of milk. Or you decide it’s more important to mow your lawn than swim with your children or grandchildren.

If I’d been born during Lincoln’s or King, Jr.’s lifetime, I probably wouldn’t have been able to become a writer. I would’ve probably had five children and lived on a farm. Getting six hours of sleep would’ve been a remarkable feat, let alone writing a column for my local newspaper. But I can write in 2018, thank God. I don’t believe I could maintain my sanity without writing.

You, too, were created to do certain work. When you squelch the urge to do it, you probably feel anxious, irritable, and unfulfilled.

Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV) Ask God to point you toward the work he created you to do, then do it. You’ll feel better, and you’ll give people memories they will cherish.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!