Every person leaves a story behind of their life known by their friends and family. But what question stuck with me was, 'how would I like to be remembered when I die?' and 'what kind of legacy would I like to leave behind?'
Elvis, Hitler and Jesus- each of these men have long remembered legacies. A legacy doesn't need to be good and in many cases, it's unfortunately bad. In Elvis' case it regularly includes the mention of sex, drugs and rock n roll. Arguably, Elvis left a good legacy behind- as many of my friends would point out- he was a big part in what rock music is today.
Like Jesus and Hitler, he had much influence in the world around him and continued to have influence long after he died.
Of course, different types of influence- Jesus is the reason for the season. And not just Christmas but every season, every week and every day. He helped hundreds of people in his time and still continues today, this is a true legacy. In this same way, we as Christians want to leave behind legacies that represent the people we are and what we believe.
In my life it has often been legacies of family close to me which has inspired me to pursue my dreams. My Aunty died of cancer in my final year of high school and the day of her funeral is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.
She was more than an aunty; she was a second mother, a role model and more importantly, a friend. She touched my life and continues to encourage me in my life today even now that she's gone. But it was the day of her funeral did I stop and realise how many other lives she touched and how influential her legacy was.
Her favourite verse was Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6, 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding and he will make your paths straight.' After she died, I wrote my first story on her cancer for school. This quickly became my first excellence in English which led the path for more to come, won me my first creative writing award and was what I submitted for my application to Broadcasting School.
When I submitted my application, I said to God, "If this is what you want for my life then it shall be done?" And I truly believe that it was her legacy that inspired and led me to my own successes.
We don't get to write down or set the legacy that we want to leave when we die. It's not a shopping bag where you can pick and choose what you want to be in it but we do have some say. A legacy of a person's life is created from the kind of person you are.
It sounds clichÃ© to say but I want to be a light. Nothing beats a candle in the darkness and I want to be that flame, figuratively speaking. I want to be that girl that people remember in broadcasting school as the kind and helpful one, the girl always smiling and in the words of DC talk, the 'Jesus freak'.
As it says in Matthew Chapter 5 verses 14 to 16, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
I believe as Christians this what we all aim to do and I make it my mission every day to make this a reality.
The question I ask myself is one I also ask the reader, how do I / you want to be remembered? What legacy will I / you leave behind?
Joelle Bautista is a Journalism student of the New Zealand Broadcasting School based in Christchurch. She enjoys writing, talking and playing sport. Born and raised in the Church, her love for God grows increasingly by the day.
Joelle Bautista's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/joelle-bautista.html