The conversation below is a factual account of my wife and son discussing his new shoes.
Jessica M. Morrow-Farley
Don’t try to figure out boys. I shopped for hours for the perfect brown dress shoes for Alex that he needed for school. Nothing was quite right, and because I thought it was a social anxiety thing (had to have the right shoes or get made fun of), I continued on this quest. Imagine my horror when we finally found them! What made these shoes the perfect shoes? They left a black scuff when he whacked the floor with them.
When I read this I couldn’t contain my laughter. It was such an honest answer and so in-line with how nine year old boys think that all I could do was shake my head and say that’s a boy for you.
As the day progressed I felt myself draw back to my son’s response and instead of making me laugh it made me think. The point that kept coming back was that all he wanted was to leave a mark. He was after a defining action that would be a reminder to everyone that he had past that way.
The more I meditated on this the more I found myself thinking about the grand scheme of life. Aren’t we all, to some degree, after the same thing? Who among us doesn’t want to leave a mark to remind the world that we passed this way? Maybe the real point is who among is afraid that we will never leave our mark and if we disappeared today no one would notice?
Within us is a desire to be noticed. It can drive people to do crazy things to be noticed. The desire can produce narcissistic and arrogant behavior in some and soul-deep desperation in others. It is a part of the human nature that I believe God has placed in us. Like many misunderstood gifts instead of being nurtured and taught its proper use it is either ignored or abused.
I believe the desire to leave a mark with your life is what separates us from all other creations. God never intended us to be born and die anonymously – never having impacted our world in any measurable way. God created you to be a “difference maker” and this is why evil fights so hard to make you feel unimportant and insignificant.
Imagine a world where we embraced the simple truth that our impact on life was to be driven more by what is inside of us than the external resources at our disposal. How often I’ve heard it said; if I had more money, or more time, or if I was better educated, I could do so much more with my life. Although all of these things can be very beneficial to us, you could posses them all and still never leave your mark. The true sign of a significant life is not going to be our accomplishments but the extent to which we allowed our heart to lead our way.
We have become, as the Bible said, “sheep being led to the slaughter”. Days merge into each other, weeks become years, and so many of our lives stumble along lacking anything that resembles meaning. The sad thing is if we would open our eyes and let our heart lead us we could find purpose and meaning all around us.
In a world as filled with anguish, heartache, misery and hopelessness, has there ever been more of a time for people to slow down and really notice each other? It’s time to see the weary face of the single mom, the stooped walk of the forgotten elderly, the fearful face of the lonely, and the broken eyes of the abused.
Something happens when we stop and reach out to someone who has lost his way. The simple act of emotionally connecting to another person can provide comfort and strength that may be the difference between life and death. In the process you will never feel more like Jesus.
A significant life is measured by those you touch. We have been deceived to believe that significance is something that we can determine ourselves. In our deception we work too hard, worry too much, and strive to collect things that have no eternal value. As Solomon wrote, “all the striving of man is but vanity and it will all fade away”.
When we stand before God we will be judged on our heart. What did you do that resembles His Heart? How much did you care? How much did you give of yourself? Where you a person who was always too busy for others? Did people feel noticed by you or ignored?
It is a daily choice that we must make. Do we want to see through His eyes, to feel with His heart and to reach out with His hands? If you chose yes than a significant life beckons you. Reach for it. Being noticed because you act like Jesus is the greatest mark you can ever leave.