There is a lady I used to work with who enjoyed reading obituaries in the paper. I was curious as to what intrigued her about them. She told me she thought it was amusing how many different ways a writer could come up with to say someone had passed away. She showed me some said, “this person went to be with Jesus”, “they went to receive their reward”, “they expired on this date”, “they got their wings”, “they bravely lost her battle” and the list went on. She told me that she wondered what they would write in hers and what her legacy would be.
I think that’s a good thing to wonder about. If you were to live until you were old, what would you want your legacy to be? What would you want others to say about you so that you could feel like your life was a success? Now work yourself backwards in life. What will you need to have done in order to have accomplished that? What can you start doing today to start moving down that path? You won’t accomplish your goals in this life or God’s will for you unless you have a plan to accomplish them and act on it.
Saul was a man who the Bible describes as “head and shoulders above the crowd.” God chose him to be Israel’s first king. After he was anointed, he prophesied and was transformed into a new person. He started off well, but he had no plan for what his legacy would be. He just assumed that because God had done these things for him that he could coast in that favor for the rest of his life and his legacy as king would succeed through his sons. With that lack of vision and planning, his life began to wander.
The longer Saul was king, the further he went from his intended legacy. He became paranoid, arrogant and proud. He forgot his mission from God. Without direction or a plan, his life wandered into disobedience. During his reign, God anointed another man to be king and ensured that Saul’s line of successors to the throne would end with him. I Chronicles 10:13 records his obituary. It says, “Saul died in disobedience, disobedient to God.” His legacy was tarnished because he didn’t go to God for help and turned away.
Saul did some great things for Israel in his life. He freed them from oppression and won many battles. He started well, but finished poorly. When he sinned, he became arrogant instead of repentant. His heart became hard. He didn’t look to the end of his life and wonder what it would look like if he had followed God’s will. He didn’t think ahead to what a successful life would look like. Instead, he took each day as it came and never knew he was off the path because he had never looked at the path.
What does your path look like? Where is it leading? What will your obituary say about you? I know it’s kind of morbid to think of the end of your life, but I believe that’s how you create a legacy. Where do you want to be at the end of your life and how if you get there from where you are today? When you have that path, you’ll know when you get off of it. When that happens, repent and get back on that path to fulfilling God’s will for your life. Your obituary can read, “This person lived life fully, loved God and died in obedience to what God had for them.”