The other day I was at my parent’s house finding little treasures. You know those boxes you shove under your bed at age 13 just so you can pull them back out again at age 23 to go through them? I love digging through those boxes! …especially when they have unexpected and forgotten ‘savory treats’ like half-eaten candy necklaces!
What I was really interested in, though, were the personally written letters I saw stuffed underneath, in between, and all around my ‘treasures’. There were birthday cards, ‘thinking of you’ notes, the typical ‘I’m bored in class and want to see if we get caught b/c it’s more fun than listening to whatever the teacher’s talking about’ notes, thank-you letters, and more. The notes that I really enjoyed re-reading were the notes that were written just out of pure honesty. A lot of times these notes would have no specific occasion tied to them and would be scrabbled on crinkled pieces of notebook paper or on ripped up construction paper.
Some of the best letters were from campers telling me how much fun they had at camp and how they found “durt in there sut case” when they got home. Others came from friends who were telling me about how they missed me since we didn’t have 5th hour together and that we should message each other after school. Some notes were just hilarious, abstract pieces of art with unicorns and rainbows all over them. (I kid you not. The funny thing is – this one was written from a college age friend not even 3 years ago! Ha!)
It’s funny that I keep all of these letters and notes, because they were from years ago. The Truth is, though – they still matter. The notes AND the people still matter. Why? Because they mean something very valuable to me. At some point, these people impacted my life in a positive way, whether it was by giving me their friendship, sharing Truth with me, or showing me how to live a day to day life filled with joy and love.
A lot of times, I would find notes that were from years back….even notes from 5th grade. To this day, I read those notes and still remember the situations or the inside jokes that were stated in the letters. So, sometimes, I guess we think we’re just living, not really impacting anyone. But, my friends – this is not true. Not true! People who you’re around are impacted by you.
That sentence was really important. Let me reiterate. People who you’re around are impacted by you. Whether you’re a mom or a co-worker or a student or a teacher, you impact the people around you. Let’s be honest – it may not always be in a positive way. It may be in a negative way. However, other people are impacted by our actions, our speech, our thoughts, our hearts. If you think about it, we are powerful, because we will influence other people in our lifetime.
We may influence people through facebook. We may influence others by watching too much TV and neglecting to pursue meaningful relationships. We may influence people by encouraging them to come to youth group with us once a month. We may influence people by taking time to eat healthy instead of grabbing fast food meals once a week.
The point: we influence people in our lifetime.
It’s inevitable. Whether it’s negative or positive, we influence others. If this is the case – that we impact others no matter what, both positively and negatively, then how should we live? How can we impact others for the better?
As I was thinking about this, I came across a remarkably relevant quote my friend wrote (on facebook, nonetheless).
“its amazing how much of an impact you can have over a person’s life, by just being YOURSELF.” – Mabutho Mahlaba Sibongeleni
Ironic, neh? A quote I read on facebook impacted my thoughts, inspired me to meditate on something Truthful and beneficial, and then ended up in a blog which is available for MILLIONS of people to view! All because of a choice my friend made to update a status? Ha! If a status on fb is that big of a deal, then what we do in our daily lives is a big deal. We impact people through status updates!
If we are this impactful, we have got to be intentional about how we live!!!!
I’ll leave you with this today in order that we can apply this Truth to our lives. Here’s the challenge to all (no exceptions) who read this (including me).
Challenge: Positively impact someone today – intentionally.
That’s it. It’s that simple. This challenge could lead to a myriad of things – mending relationships that have been broken, saying something that needed to be said a while ago, or making a homemade meal for your family. Whatever it is, I challenge you to intentionally impact someone in a positive way within the next 24 hours. I will shell out more of my thoughts on the why and the how in the coming blogs; but I want us to be able to take this Truth to heart and to apply it…because without application, we’re just reading some words on a screen.