A Life That Tells
We live in a culture obsessed with influence. The size of a book advance depends on our platforms and large numbers of blog subscribers results in advertisements on our site. The perception today is that we have to work hard at becoming a person of influence.
When did this become the case? Influence has now become something we attain rather than something that flows out of who we are. Amy Carmichael never aspired to gain followers, yet her influence is still felt decades later. When Jim Elliot ministered to the Auca Indians, he did not have a list of blog subscribers who he updated daily with his unique cuisine. Yet his blood spilled told more than his words alone ever would.
Bridget Herman, a European Christian, wisely penned in Creative Prayer,
“When we read the lives of the saints, we are struck by a certain large leisure which went hand in hand with a remarkable effectiveness. They were never hurried; they did comparatively few things, and these not necessarily striking or important; and they troubled very little about their influence. Yet they always seemed to hit the mark; every bit of their life told; their simplest actions had a distinction, an exquisiteness which suggested the artist.”
Maybe we should worry less about the story we are writing and more about living a life that tells. We don’t strive for it, it just happens. We are connected to the Source, abiding in Him, and that makes us distinct. We are not hurried from one thing to the next making sure we leave an impact on others, instead we rest in the Creator of our souls.
A life that tells can do more to impact a soul than the most striking story penned. How can our simplest actions leave a mark? Where do we find the wisdom to trade doing more with embracing less?
What is the secret to a life that tells?
“Their sainthood lay in their habit of referring the smallest actions to God. They lived in God; they acted from a pure motive of love towards God. They were as free from self-regard as from slavery to the good opinion of others. God saw and God rewarded: what else needed they?”
When all is said and done, what else more do we need than God? The riches of this world will pass away, the applause of men eventually fades, but the Source of life remains the same today as He was yesterday. “You cannot change, yet You change everything", writes All Sons and Daughters.
The unchangeable One makes our lives a consistent beacon of truth when everything else around us shifts.
I want to live a life that tells: where my actions speak louder than my words, and I am concerned less about what I am portraying to others than with what is being cultivated inside me. “Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”
A life that tells recognizes the power of reading Scripture aloud daily for our little ones to hear. A life that tells reaches for the hand of the one we pledged to be faithful to in sickness and in health. A life that tells rests in the exquisiteness of the Creator rather than the rat-race of "influence".
May every little bit of our lives tell...