GROVE OK – Yes, each day we can impact our world for Christ. As the scripture says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” — Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV).
The daily newspaper is still a staple in my life. While some have switched to digital, I love the feel of the paper in my hands. Although I sometimes skip over or briefly scan the depressing news, I love reading positive stories about people who are making a difference in our world.
I don’t consider myself a Pollyanna wearing rose-colored glasses, but I refuse to let the negative events and situations in our world affect my day. However, death is inevitable, leading me to search the obituaries for notices of those I might know.
Recently, an obituary caught my attention. I didn’t know the person, but because of his smiling face in the photo, I wanted to know more. A lengthy description of this man’s life, which spanned 47 years, revealed someone who lived to impact the lives of others.
His life story of making a difference was influenced early on by his devotion to following Jesus. This decision created the foundation of his life. According to his obituary, he had been a professional athletic trainer for the Washington Redskins and later the Dallas Cowboys, but he also had a passion for training elderly clients, people with disabilities and kids who were chasing a dream. Known for his Godly leadership, this man believed everyone was equal in God’s sight.
In “Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps for a Fulfilling Life,” author Abbot Christopher Jamison defines pride as ‘self-importance.’ In the book, Jamison writes, “Humility is an honest approach to the reality of our own lives and acknowledges that we are not more important than other people.”
Our reason for being is to do the Lord’s work, to leave a positive impact in other people’s lives before our obituary runs in the local newspaper. Writer Akiroq Brost said, “By acting with love, attention, and caring we can have a tremendous impact not only on others but also on ourselves. We all have something that we can contribute. We all have value.”
For over a year, I’ve been trying to connect with a usually sad-faced woman who works at a fast food drive-through. I don’t know her age, but she’s probably in her late 40s or early 50s. Wrinkles that appear to have nothing to do with age line her face and defeat marks her appearance.
My goal is to brighten her day with a kind word and a smile. She has value and I want her to know that. Sometimes I succeed and she returns my smile. Other times, she doesn’t respond to my attempt at kindness.
Mother Teresa once said, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
We can make an impact each day, even if it is only with a smile.