One of the greatest joys in my life was having the opportunity to work in a long term care facility which about 140 residents called home. I began working as a unit manager there when I was only 21 years old and was promoted to the assistant director of nursing by the age of 22. In both of these roles, I thrived on and took pride in making residents laugh, smile, and just having the opportunity to build relationships with them, listen to their amazing stories, and gain wisdom from them. During my years there, I met residents who were from all different walks of life. Residents who were nurses, police officers, government officials, homemakers, plumbers, contractors, farmers, news anchors, chefs, and more. At this facility, one of my favorite things to do was to go and visit residents in their rooms and look up at their walls in awe and take it all in. These walls were covered in pictures, awards, accomplishments, cherished items, and other things that painted a perfect picture of their legacy, priorities, and their treasures in life. Each of their walls depicted a different legacy, lifestyle, and passion.
Everyday I would make it a point to walk into a couple residents room's and just take it all in and examine myself and my heart. I would ask myself "What is going to be hanging on my wall?" What is it that is it that defines me? What are my priorities? I would start to list items that I thought to be my priorities and part of my legacy such as my faith, my family, helping others, generosity, education and so on. I would walk out of their rooms, head back to my office and I would begin to examine myself more and look at how I spent my time and quickly would realize that many other unwanted items and priorities are making room for my wall and are taking away space for my true and desired priorities. These items included things like money, greed, and status. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Luke 12:34 and it says "For where your treasure is, your heart will be also". Seeing these residents and walking in their rooms everyday reminded me to center myself and examine what my "treasures" are daily to ensure that my priorities are straight and to not let myself stray from what my legacy could be.
My challenge to you is to examine yourself and ask "what will be on my wall? Where do my treasures lay?" Often, I believe we think we know what are priorities are in life... but truly are all out of control and are out of touch from reality. Look for the simple reminders in life to keep you on track and to continue to build the legacy you want to leave, not the legacy the world wants you to leave.