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The Greatest and Most Meaningful Legacy…What Is It?

There is a secret sauce to relationships that just isn’t talked about nor understood. We all need a legacy of love, forgiveness, and blessing in addition to an inheritance of money and possessions. The secret sauce can make all the difference in communicating how to have better marriages, parent-child relationships, and child-parent relationships. The sauce is one that Jesus gave us and continues to give us.

What is it? If we look at past presidents, such as John Kennedy,George Bush or Bill Clinton and compare and contrast them what would we find? If Bill Clinton walked into the room, he would want everybody to like him. If John Kennedy walked into the room, he would want everyone to admire and swoon over him. If George Bush walked into the room, he would want everyone to think he is in charge. We all feel these at one time or another. They are all fear based responses. Our frightened selves want only the gathered to like us, to agree with us or to be intimidated by us.

If Jesus walks into a room I suspect that he would love what he finds there. In fact, he would DELIGHT in everyone in the room and see each person’s uniqueness. I venture to say that he might move faster toward those that are outcasts and chooses to go where love has not yet arrived.

His ways are not our ways, but they could be.

DELIGHT is exactly what Jesus sees when he looks at each of us. He doesn’t see all the muck we try to put in the way of someone seeing who we really are because we are fearful that they may not like what they see. Jesus only sees good and precious beings that are so loveable.

Loving like Jesus hard. We think it is about moral duty and obligation. We sometimes think that it requires a theology degree or many years of special training with a side order of guilt.

I wonder what would happen to our relationships if we simply looked at our spouse, kids or parents and delighted in all the things that are precious – beyond what we so easily criticize

American poet William Carlos Williams said that poetry could be applied to our lives, “If it ain’t pleasure, it ain’t a poem.” I wonder what would happen if we watch our hearts begin to beat as one with the One who delights in our being. I think the greatest distraction for delighting in everyone that is in our path is not being in that moment, but grabbing things from the past or tossing in some ideas for the future. We bask in God’s unalloyed joy, and we let loose with that same joy in whoever is in front of us. I think we have forgotten what a vital part of God’s plan that is.

It reminds me of the elder gentlemen who was on his death bed and asked for the pillow from his wife’s side of the bed to be brought into the hospital room. When he received the pillow, he placed it over his face and breathed in deeply, then exhaled and placed it behind his head. Throughout the morning, he would sneak a sniff of the pillow that carried the scent of the woman whose bed he shared for years. We can all breathe in the spirit that delights in our being—the fragrance of it.

How about the street kid who never really had parents who got married and had two sons. He said, “You know what I’m gonna do when I get home right now? I’m gonna sit down to eat with my lady and my two morritos. But I don’t eat. I just watch my sons eat.” You see some nights his kids are so hungry that he has nothing left to eat and yet his attitude is that it is a “Father thing.” The duty to delight is to stare at your family as they eat, anchored in the surest kind of gratitude – the sort that erases sacrifice and hardship and absorbs everything else. Jesus says, “My ways are not your ways,” but I think they could be.

We have the opportunity to bask, like Jesus, in the same joy in whoever is in front of us.

Thich Nhat Hahn writes that “our true home is the present moment; the miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.” Richard Rolheiser writes “the opposite of depression is not happiness, it’s delight.” After all, we breathe the Spirit that delights in our being.

I believe the greatest legacy that we can leave future generations is to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the dance of delight. It is a cosmic dance that is always happening and we are invited to join in and experience the joy of Jesus in each person that we meet. Take some time tomorrow and just be with someone, with no agenda, time limit or expectation. Just pay attention and DELIGHT. It is clearly the secret sauce!

 

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

One Comment

  1. Kim Anderson
    Posted on April 29, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Excellent article Joe! I love the ending, “I believe the greatest legacy that we can leave future generations is to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the dance of delight. It is a cosmic dance that is always happening and we are invited to join in and experience the joy of Jesus in each person that we meet. Take some time tomorrow and just be with someone, with no agenda, time limit or expectation. Just pay attention and DELIGHT. It is clearly the secret sauce!” I think we all need to do this more often; what a great reminder! Thank you 🙂

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