How long do you have to live to be significant? And who or what determines whether you have been significant?
Isn’t significance something we all long for? Making a difference…making an impact…changing something or someone because we were here…isn’t that what significance is all about?
I would like to propose that significance begins at the moment someone is conceived. God’s Word in Psalm 139 says:
“…You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (NKJ Version)
You could even construe from this passage that in God’s eyes, each person is significant even before conception. That seems pretty hard to comprehend, but since God exists outside of time, it shouldn’t be too impossible to think that He could know us from the beginning of time and know exactly what time frame we would be living in.
Many people struggle to do whatever they deem necessary to earn significance either in the eyes of their parents, their peers, their company or whoever potentially can bestow that significance.
But my suggestion is that when we receive our significance from our creator, we are free to be and free to do whatever He created us for. And that is true significance.
My son, John struggled to find his niche, his place in the world when he was in college. If any of us had been paying attention, we would have seen the signs from the time he was little that Biology would be a natural expression of his unique giftings, talents and interests. He loved both plants and animals and delighted in discovering everything about them. So after a few detours, he eventually arrived at his destination – Biology!
But then, just when he was getting started, he was gone; disappeared at the age of 22, having recently graduated from Wheaton College. So did he achieve significance?
He was the object of some of the most extensive and intensive searches for any missing person on the Big Island of Hawaii ever. In his death, he touched more lives than he ever could have if he had lived to be 80 years old.
He loved his Savior, he loved his family, he loved his friends and he loved the other young people he worked with on the vegetation crew of the USGS Palila bird project. Beyond a shadow of a doubt each of their lives was profoundly impacted by John. How do I know? We kept in touch with many of them long after John disappeared. We heard their stories.
So how does one measure a life? I believe each and every one of us has a profound impact on the lives of those around us, for good or for bad.
So let us love well, live well and fulfill the purpose and destiny for which God created us.
Have a blessed day!
Sharon (John’s mother)
P.S. If you are intrigued by John’s story and would like to know more, just click on the “Buy the Book” button on the top of the page and get our book that tells the whole story.