|Praying together as a family before we left the kids to drive down to LA.|
Heritage. Legacy. Inheritance.
As a one-income family, I try not to let my mind wander into the dangerous territory of investments, retirement, 401k's and pensions. I have seen the graphs of investment strategies and the breakdown of what we should be putting aside for our "golden years" that are looming ever closer.
No one wants to leave their children with a burden of debt. It's the "American way" to plan for self-sufficiency, dignity and making our own way.
It's so easy to get caught up in the worry and fear of financial investments and the future. So easy in fact that I so often forget to focus on the spiritual legacy that I will leave behind for my children and theirs.
Traveling around the world to another country has reminded me once again of what inheritance I truly value.
My grandparents spent many years of their lives preparing, planning and eventually going to Africa as missionaries. My father was born in that continent. He went to boarding school there. He made and played with friends there. He left a piece of his heart there when they eventually moved back to the States.
And that morsel of beating, breathing heart echoed across the ocean and wove it's rhythm into the music of my life.
As a child, my world became larger, fuller and richer from photos, stories and treasured souvenirs turned heirlooms that became part of the tapestry of my childhood and inspired countless imagined journeys and adventures.
Part of my heritage is Africa -- specifically Tanzania.
There are physical buildings that bear the DNA of my family. They literally sweated and bled building a church and Bible college in Arusha. That kind of physical, emotional and spiritual investment created a bond that has endured and has sparked the imagination of generations.
Last year, my sister's eldest daughter stood with our father overlooking the plains of that beautiful country. The photo of that moment expresses what words cannot.
It impacts your children and your children's children and their grandchildren.
No amount of earthly wealth could replace the feeling I had when I stepped out onto the soil for the first time of a place where my family had once walked.
No trust fund could buy a safari lavish enough to compare with seeing a church brimming and spilling over with people who love God and were so grateful for the building they were busting out of.
And really it's not really so much about Africa or Tanzania.
My inheritance is the knowledge that people matter. That sacrifice for the sake of others is never a waste of a time...or a life. That investing in people now on this earth is an eternal reward that cannot be destroyed or lost in the stock market.
My family heritage is of the 1 Corinthians 13 variety.
And the greatest of these....