Why You Should Document Your Heritage?
The Ultimate Plan for Life – Part 4
Because we are people of faith, we believe that once a person no longer lives on earth, they have the opportunity to live with Jesus in Heaven. Regardless, people in your world will transition and one day so will you. Please forgive me for dampening your day; it gets better. However, the problem with such a transition is that it impacts the folks who continue to live on Earth. With this transition an opportunity is presented to those who remain on this side of Heaven. This is what we will be discussing in this section of the legacy department and how you should respond to such an opportunity.
The Thought or Concept:
As people of faith, most of our family members are going to Heaven. So we document the names of those who’ve already made the trip. If God keeps a record, why don’t we? And what will we do with our records?
“Then Isaac breathed his last and joined his ancestors. He died an old man who had lived a full life. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him. ”
During one of our weekly platform meetings with my team, we were interrupted by a message from a family member. We needed a break from discussing the rules around what’s required of us for funerals of loved-ones and loved-ones’ relatives. The discussion, as most of them go, was pretty intense until I read the message on my screen. It read “do you mind giving the invocation?” I immediately replied “yes, anything for our departed loved-one.”
My wife, Pamela, my brother, and sister who were present all looked at each other and said “invocation?” What does that mean? It’s a funeral. Here we go… We all immediately turned to Google to look up the word. It’s my team that helps me get in the right head-space for performing any public functions. We found that an invocation happens for special ceremonies and events and conducted by someone of authority. Of course I liked the sound of that. We read further and noticed that it’s often referred to as the invocation “prayer”. Now that’s more in line with what I was thinking. You traditionally see such on graduation programs and school functions. And then I said “that’s perfect!”
Perfect because I like the fact that the invocation occurs at graduations. I believe that our departed relative didn’t so much depart, but rather graduated…
She graduated from this life to eternal life.
She graduated from living on earth to living in Heaven.
She graduated from living with present relatives to living with ancestral relatives.
She graduated from living with mere men to living in the presence of God and angels.
She has graduated from a life of disappointments and hardships to a life of unending peace and joy.
She received the ultimate graduation diploma! And it was well deserved.
Documenting Your Heritage Made Easy
This series of events taught me a big lesson on heritage and what we can do with it to establish better legacies for ourselves. Let me share with you just a couple of ways we use the legacy of others in improving our own legacy.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized how to gain something beneficial out of funeral services. In fact, I decided to find a way to allow a funeral service to bring me some joy. Sounds weird right? Nah, just uncommon. I do this in two ways.
- Use the legacy of another’s life to improve yours.
Always use the legacy of another’s life to improve the legacy you’re establishing. What would you like your life to speak to? At most (almost all) funerals you get the chance to hear a summary of a person’s greatest achievements and impressions left upon people. Instead of letting this all go to waste, I make notes. Use it to begin to make adjustments and improvements in my own life. A funeral will teach you a number of things if you listen for them:
– How to be a better parent?
– How to be a better son or daughter?
– How to improve interactions among siblings?
– What you should do or not do as a child of a departing parent?
– How coworkers of the bereaved should respond.
This is a perfect time to learn and grow as this experience is one that all human-beings will have, eventually. How will you handle it? Like everyone else or unlike everyone?
Remember every human-being is a gift and has a gift from God, it does one well to know what it is so that you can benefit from what God has given you.
- Document your heritage in detail.
I need to share with you one more important aspect of funerals or memorial services and that’s the documented heritage they provide. The obituary of a person who’s transitioned is a very valuable piece of information. You should collect this. I do. It’s the one place your history is revealed and your heritage defined. I make certain I get a copy of the obituary or take a digital image of it with my phone. After the funeral or memorial service I update our family tree.
I use a website called myheritage.com and I document all the family connections, names, and relationships. This way I have a documented family tree and history I can easily access, share, and expand. Whether you use a digital version or not, you should create your own method of capturing such important and historical information.
While I understand this lesson might not be something you want to think about today, I’ve given it so that your tomorrow can be a little brighter when the inevitable occurs. Everything that happens in your life and to you has shaped and will continue to shape who you are. The problem is how will you let it shape you. Will you let it help to tear away at your legacy or will you allow it to help build a better one?
Today is Friday!
Learn to make the best out of the worst situations. Use the legacy and experiences of another’s life to help you build the legacy you desire to establish. Value the people you’ve been given to do life with. They have a story to share that has the potential to transform who you’re becoming, so take note of it.
Until next week, work to build the best legacy you possibly can because it’s your life and your life is your business. Share this message with those you’re establishing your legacy with today.