Neriah LeBlanc related an interesting story regarding the history of an island nearby his native home. He says,
In 1715 the French established their rule on a small island state called
Dominica. One of the cultures the French brought to that island was that
when one died, their life would be evaluated by the leaders of the
community. If that person was seen as one who was an ungodly person,
an inscription would be placed on their tomb which read, ‘vous avez
travaille pour rien.’ Translated into English, this means, ‘You have worked for nothing.’
Most people are very concerned about their legacy, what impression and memory they will leave on this world. Presidents, facing the end of their last term, often think about what their legacy will be. The wealthy may donate millions of dollars to a university to have a building or even the school named after them, a legacy to their generosity. Actors, athletes, and entertainers may wish to be remembered for something groundbreaking they did in their field. Average, everyday folks like you and me wish to be remembered as having fulfilled a deeper purpose, too.
How will we know that we have not worked for nothing, that we have not misspent our time, talents, and thoughts? In His teaching that repelled many of His disciples, Jesus urged, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal” (John 6:27). In this short statement, Jesus speaks profoundly about living with purpose.
Whether your occupation is in the secular or the spiritual realm, this principle is immovable. Make sure you leave a measurable, spiritual footprint in all the pathways of your life–job, community, church, family, and wherever else you walk. Did your example, influence, and words lead people to see and know Jesus? Would people say that when you were around, it was easier for them to be and do good?
The Judgment itself will be a testimony to this principle. In essence, when we stand before Christ, He will say either “you have worked for nothing” or “you have worked for Me” (cf. Mat. 25:34-45). Each day, we are building our spiritual legacy. May we labor for that “which endures to eternal life.”