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May 8, 2018
Ellen Coleman

There’s nothing quite like a big milestone to get you thinking about big things. For me, it was my 50th birthday and the importance of leaving a legacy. Knowing I was at a critical juncture of life, I pursued this topic with urgency, examining some of the world’s greatest legacies that inspire and impact generations. 

I couldn’t help but think of the Apostle Paul who endured great suffering to build the church. Mother Teresa gave her life to serve the poor, and Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced his divine calling by championing equality. I thought of innovators who used their God-appointed talent to advance the world, and philanthropists whose wealth brought hope to the hopeless. As I studied their similarities, the undeniable common thread came down to one word: generosity  

Generosity is the centerpiece of a life lived on purpose. And legacy is the culmination of daily decisions to pursue God’s design for my life. No matter the cost or the inconvenience, every time I intentionally make a decision to live on purpose, my legacy will take care of itself.   

What does that look like in practice? Two examples come to mind. 

When the cancer diagnosis came two weeks before a mission trip to help human trafficking victims, I’m so glad I made the decision to stay on purpose and not cancel my trip. I would have missed a life-changing Kingdom assignment.   

Every morning driving my children to school, my spirit flooded me with conviction to stop and offer a ride to the elderly lady who struggles to walk with a cane. Through that one decision to be generous with my time, Essie and I are now friends, and giving this 90-year-old woman a ride home is not only part of my regular routine now, its one of my greatest blessings. 

As I journey to the other side of 50, I pray that I will live on purpose each day. And when it’s all said and done, with no regrets, my greatest privilege will be using what God has placed in my hands to leave a legacy that emulates the generosity of His sacrificial gift.  



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