What Song Captures Your Legacy?

Susan Narjala   |   May 8, 2020 

You know that little curvy arrow on your browser menu that refreshes your webpage? It’s a button I’m intimately familiar with.

Every time I post an article on my website or on social media, I obsessively hit that button to track my readership and views and likes and subscriptions. When new numbers pop up, it gives me a dopamine rush.

This ridiculous ailment seems to be a particular condition of our generation. Or maybe it’s just me and I want some company in my foolish pursuit of platform. As a creative, the craving to be discovered, to go viral, to have the spotlight for my six seconds of fame are embarrassingly real preoccupations. Building a “brand” can be downright consuming.

If I keep going at this pace, my tombstone will likely read: ‘Finally she can stop waiting to be “discovered.”’

I’m kidding. No one’s going to say that. People always say nice things when you die. (Okay, this dark humour may throw you a little off-kilter, but bear with me.)

I’m intentionally being semi-morbid because of this month’s topic on IndiAanya: “The song I want sung at my funeral.”

That somewhat unusual topic got me thinking: What legacy do I want to leave behind? Which song would capture the heart of who I was when I head on over to my permanent home?

So here goes. (Please read the next line in your most dramatic, awards-ceremony voice).

The song that would top the charts at my funeral is …. Drumroll, please…  “Blessed Assurance.”

Okay, that may have been a bit of an anti-climax considering I chose a rather staid hymn from the 19th century.

But I love that song. I love its simple tune. I love its words. And I would love for my life to reflect those words.

Here’s a quick recap of the first verse and chorus of the hymn:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Saviour all the day long.

As a writer, I regularly share stories about my life. Funny stories, sad stories, silly stories. But at the end of the day (and my life), I want my story to be about Jesus. I want to be able to say:

“This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Saviour, All the day long.”

I want to be able to say: My story is not about chasing dreams or hustling for fame or building my brand or hunting down success. My story is living out my purpose in serving God and in praising Him in all I do.

Right now, when I think of my “all the day long,” a good chunk of it centres around me -  my to-dos, my wants, my dreams and my desires. I’m not saying that my dreams are to be shelved or that my goals should be neglected.

But I am created for more. I want those dreams to be a way to glorify my Greatest Treasure, Jesus. Jesus who is most assuredly mine. Jesus who gave up everything to be my Saviour and my Friend.

Instead of building my name, I want to lift up His.

The writer of this 19th-century hymn, Fanny Crosby, lost her sight as a young child. But she went on to be one of the most prolific songwriters and poets of her time. She is reported to have said the following words:

“If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”

Maybe, like me, you’re distracted by the “beautiful and interesting things” around you. Things that offer attention and approval. Things that offer satisfaction and sufficiency. Things that, ultimately, take the place of God and detract from our true purpose.

Our purpose is not found in building robust resumes or creating platform, position, or power. Our purpose lies in being faithful where we are with what we have at the moment. Our purpose lies in praising God in each moment for each moment - through all the moments He gives us.

We need to hit the refresh button on that truth often. Instead of looking for our significance from the world around us, let’s look above because from there comes our deepest, most blessed assurance. Let our stories speak of His glory. Let our stories speak His praise.

 

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

 

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

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