01 Mar More Impact
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver
I love a good inspirational quote. On a good day, quotes like the one above inspires me to dream big. But, on a day when I am bogged down with the mundane and have a laundry list of to-do’s staring me down, it can be a little panic-inducing!
What am I going to do with my life? Am I doing enough? What difference am I making?
We all have a deep need for our lives to be significant. We want to have an impact on the world around us but sometimes it is hard to figure out how or where to begin.
If we are not careful we can get caught up thinking that if we are not dropping everything and committing ourselves to a life of public service or a mission that our lives are less important than someone else’s. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When I think of some of the people who have made the biggest impact in my life many of them were unsung heroes.
- I think of my aunt who visited my mom every day for years when she was confined to a nursing home and I was busy raising my children.
- I think my sweet soft-spoken friend, Ellen, the mom of two boys who was about 10 years older than me when my own two boys were little, who, in the absence of my mom, would give me advice and lend an ear when I needed one.
- I think of my grandmother who would pray for me and call to check in on me to make sure I was taking care of myself.
- I think of my best friends who cooked food and prepared a feast for my family after my grandmother’s funeral.
- I think of my dear friend and counselor, Janet, who helped me find healing for my broken heart.
These people have had a huge impact on my life simply by being themselves and using the gifts God gave them.
There is a tendency in the culture we live in to feel like dreaming big means everyone needs to know our name, when really, we are called to be a light and make the name of Jesus famous.
I love the message version of Ephesians 7-10:
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
We don’t play the major role does not mean we don’t have a major role to play.
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
~ Matthew 5: 14 -16
I encourage you today to just be YOU. Let your light shine – bring out the God colors in the world and know that you are making an impact!