Thursday, 16 June 2011
Impact and Influence
It is amazing what impact and influence we can have (intentionally or otherwise) on the people and circumstances around us.
The daily news brings us stories about wars, famines and droughts, injustice and persecution, natural and man-made disasters; it can feel overwhelming. It makes me think about how on earth 'You in your small corner, and I in mine' can possibly make ANY difference.
As a Christian, I wonder how God could use me - I read and hear of Christian 'saints' going off and doing amazing, life-changing things and then look at my own circumstances and get quickly defeated.
Well, I challenged God this morning. I thought about the gifts and talents I think He has equipped me with and asked how I was supposed to change the world with a ball of wool and some knitting needles, or running a couple of blogs, or the other mundane but practical skills that keep our household ticking over. Needless to say, God's answer wasn't to stump up the price of a ticket to Africa to go and dig wells!
Sitting quietly thinking through all the vague options open to me I suddenly realised I can't stop famine, or do any of the amazing things that I associate with Christian 'service' - because God didn't create me to do any of that in the first place.
I'm here for a reason - and maybe that's just to be the smallest cog on the smallest cogwheel of the machinery of Life. And that's true of the vast majority of us. But, you know, if those small cogs get damaged or don't do what they were designed for, the machinery won't work right, or even breakdown altogether.
Who knows if my 'purpose' is to facilitate someone else doing 'mighty works' just by keeping the 'machinery' going? I once 'complained' to my pastor that sewing banners wasn't on the same level as digging wells in Africa and he replied "Maybe you weren't designed to dig wells, but your banner might make someone else think about doing it!"
Well, I can knit blankets and items for charities; or I could organise a knitting group to encourage others to get together and knit projects - and who knows where the conversations we might have will lead to....
I have another blog I Refuse To Go Quietly, where I do a fair bit of fiction writing and through that I've got to know some amazing people. Trying to occasionally weave Christian principles into crime fiction is an interesting challenge! I have this passion about writing fiction that doesn't necessarily deliver the Gospel - but if it at least has elements of the story that impact Joe (or Jane) Public, make him/her at least shrug off the stereotype of God and Christians they have in mind.....
Like George Bailey, in the film 'It's a Wonderful Life' we certainly have influence and impact on so many people around us!
I was reading something this morning concerning someone called Mordecai Ham. Now, he was an evangelist who reached many people with the gospel. One day, a young 16 year old boy heard him talk and as a result hundreds of thousands (the number is still on the increase!) of people have since become Christians.
That young 16 year old's name was Billy Graham.
I wonder what would have happened if he'd been 'too busy' or otherwise occupied to go to that evangelist meeting.......