redefining purpose: destiny vs. legacy

Happy Thursday!

A few weeks ago, I invited our drummer to preach his first sermon at DFC on a Wednesday night. Well, last night was the magic moment… and Greg Baker led his MOM and his COUSIN to the Lord at the end of his message. He taught about having the courage to STEP UP and STAND OUT… and about demonstrating boldness to endure all the persecution that comes with living for Christ. Great first message for Greg Baker!

Recently, I’ve been doing so much thinking about the word LEGACY. Here’s a clip from page 2 of chapter 3 of my book, Make me a Legend! Some of this material was just written this morning… and it’s unproofed. So be kind… and ENJOY!

redefining purpose: destiny verses legacy
Since I’m on the subject of destiny vs. legacy, let me describe the contrast I see between the two. Ever since I can remember people have told me, “One of these days son, you’re gonna change the world!” I’ve been commended over and over for my “winning personality” and all my God given talent. Nearly every person I’ve ever had a long conversation with has made a prediction about my influential future.

Believe me; it’s electrifying to hear these kinds of things predicted about my life. For me, and for so many others, fulfilling this kind of destiny starts out with the illusion of becoming some kind of celebrated person. Yeah, we do want to make a difference, but we really like what DESTINY means for us way more than we’re willing to admit. At first this is an energizing ambition, but over time it loses its luster. For me, even though I had a very big destiny to carry out, something vital was missing. That’s when I stumbled upon the bigger meaning of life… LEGACY!

Please don’t get me wrong here. I do believe very strongly that every human has a beautiful destiny. I’m not suggesting that legacy is a replacement term for destiny. What I am suggesting is that legacy is a far more encompassing gauge of purpose.

Destiny says, “I am created to do something great, so I need to discover whatever this is… so I can zoom around the world, do a bunch of extraordinary things, and kick it all the way across my finish line at death to receive the trophy of a civilization.”

Legacy begins the same way and then adds, “The greatness of my destiny is measured by what I pass on to the coming generations. I fulfill my purpose in life by honoring those who have gone before me, serving those who are with me today, and blessing those who will follow in my steps.”

When talking about destiny, most people seem to focus on the “me” factor. We ask questions like, what am “I” called to do with “my” life? Legacy demands a shift of focus. Legacy asks questions like, what are “they” called to do with “their” precious lives? Destiny is about me, legacy is about them. Legacy opens you and I up to the much bigger picture of them! It makes us feel more responsible for their future than our own.

To illustrate this point, let me tell you about my friend Jimmy Floyd. A few years back, he was the most passionate softball players I had ever met! Still today, his enthusiasm for sports is unprecedented. One of my favorite things to do in life is to bring up sports to Jimmy Floyd… and watch him go! Last year, I asked Jimmy if he was getting excited for the coming softball season. Jimmy’s response taught me so much about legacy!

Once Jimmy’s two babies had progressed into toddlerhood… and once Jimmy’s kids were able to play catch with daddy, Jimmy Floyd lost his passion for winning home run competitions and being the star player of our league. Jimmy Floyd became enlivened with a far more encompassing gauge of purpose… the LEGACY of his children and all children! Was Jimmy excited about the coming softball season? His response: “I don’t know if I’m gonna play as much this year. I’m more excited about seeing all these teenagers step up… and I’m really starting to get cranked up about living through my kids!”

This is what legacy is all about. Loving someone else’s home-run MORE than our own. Shedding tears of joy when an apprentice knocks one out of the park…

Please chat about this section of my book… leave your comments and have a super Thursday everyone!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “redefining purpose: destiny vs. legacy

  1. Pastor, as always your book has great insight, truely inspiring!! I can't wait to see it finished!

    One thing that really struck me was the way you described the difference between what Destiny means and what Legacy means.

    That, in turn took me along the path in my brain to our church DESTINY FAMILY CENTER and was thinking hmmmmmmm after reading what you wrote it seems like our name could be more like Legacy Building Center. (NOT suggesting you change anything) just showing you the path in my brain.

    Have a great day!

  2. Yeah… something I think about at times Vickie.

    When we first named the church, we came up with Destiny Revival Center… to depict our mission for bringing LIFE to the earth.

    Then a few years ago, we amended that name by replacing the word revival with the word family. This was to depict our understanding that revival takes place through RELATIONSHIPS… and that we place a very high value on FAMILY and GENERATIONS. We coined the phrase, "Building a Legacy Together" during that transition.

    Sometimes I still wonder if we have the PERFECT name for our mission… and for now, the main way to PROPAGATE legacy is to CLARIFY our vision and help people to WRAP their hearts around our AIM.

    Then maybe, our name will be DEFINED by our HISTORICAL ACTIONS! Wooohoooo… now there's a thought!

    Thanks for the comment Vickie… it triggered a few creative moments for me today!

  3. I agree with the concept of Destiny vs Legacy. Destiny is a 'you' thing. Legacy is the mark you leave on other people. Believe me Pastor you are leaving a legacy on each person you talk to. People who hear your message ARE changed and impacted. Like Jimmy and many others, we have passions and drive for certain things in life. Like for me making that music video that I made a few years ago for school had a passion to it. But it was never about the grade or what I got from it. It was about the lifes that it impacted and changed in the process.

    Like Greg was talking about last night Christians have started to change their focus from the church and people to themselves in this time. What we are forgetting is that we have overcome already. There is nothing that can take over us. We have to STEP OUT. Once we find out our Destiny then we can then turn our focus to making a legacy. My core advisor put it a VERY morbid but great way. When you pass on and leave this world, what do you want to be remembered as? What should it say on your tomb stone? This gave me a whole different outlook on what God wanted me to do with my life.

    I dont know if any of that means anything to anyone. But just a few thoughts. Great insert. Can't wait for the book to come out!!!

  4. Thanks Chuck – this is good but you already knew that. I love your blogs and your novel it inspiring! I love it!

  5. thanks Miles… hope you're reaching all your writing goals for the summer! Happy writing my friend! And thanks for saying such kind things… God bless you!

  6. This is definitely a message the world must hear! In our society especially we are encouraged to focus so much on ourselves that we have become a nation of narcissists. When we look beyond ourselves to others is when we begin building the kingdom. Good stuff!

  7. Thanks for the perspective! I have often used LEGACY as DESTINY did not sit well with me. I pondered if people unintentionally used the terms interchangably and your description nails it. Both are valid. Both are not wrong. It is just your perspective. God has a destiny for us and if we follow His call for us it will be our legacy as we will move out in His power. Our success may not be as the world thinks but it will be as He planned. Both have the opportunity to add value just as silver and gold. But gold is more valuable. Obedience to God is more valuable than favor of people.