Right now, I’m sitting in a local coffee shop. I notice to my left a woman holding a baby. The baby is cute (it’s a baby!) and seems happy enough being held by the woman. The woman’s arm is wrapped around the baby whose back is against her side. The baby looks contently around the coffee shop. As I watch her I can’t help but think about the fact that this tiny little baby will likely grow into a full sized human. It makes me wonder what kind of obstacles she might encounter and what she will experience in life. A baby is like a blank notebook. Their entire story is theirs to write. From this point on every moment of this baby’s life has meaning. These moments become her story.
Here’s the thing, you and I are not so different from this baby. Maybe there are words in our notebooks already and our stories are partially written. Even still, from this point on every moment of our lives shapes our story. Every action adds to the text. This, my friends, means that we must live each moment with intentionality. A good story doesn’t write itself. It takes work, it uses just the right words at just the right time. Many days however we find ourselves simply going through the motions of everyday life. We wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eventually go to bed, wake up and do it all again. Sometimes life feels void of meaning; we feel like the story writes itself. How then can we take control and write a meaningful story?
Realize Inherit Meaning
We can notice meaning in the mundane. Every moment has potential to influence our stories. Therefore, every moment holds meaning. Every. Single. Moment. How different would our lives look if we lived with this knowledge? Let’s talk about work. Any job can feel void of significance. We often simply go through the motions. But what if we work knowing that every paper we staple, customer we talk to, and lesson plan we write possesses significance? Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” If you believe the Bible is true this verse assures you that every moment holds meaning. Let’s live this way and see what happens.
Realize Your Importance
You are important. As you write your story you contribute to a much bigger story. No one else can offer to the world the same things you can. We teach our children this yet we do not ourselves understand it. We even find this concept in children’s books. Dr. Seuss famously wrote, “Today you are you that is truer than true. There is no one alive that’s more youer than you.” So why do we feel insignificant at times? Ponder, if you will, the earth. All the conditions in our universe interact just right to sustain life. The earth has just the right ingredients, crust, temperature, moon, star, core and neighbors. Because each part plays a role they all matter. In the same way if one tiny thing changed about you the whole course of history might change. Everything about you makes the story of the world work.
Realize other’s Importance
Everyone is important so treat them that way. I can not state it any clearer. Alfred Adler, the creator of individual psychology and my personal favorite theorist said, “Every human being strives for significance, but people always make mistakes if they do not realize their significance lies in their contribution to the lives of others.” God created us to interact with others. Our interactions with others hold weight. The way we behave impacts everyone around us. When we remember the importance of others we act in ways that encourage them and benefit society. Because each person is important we must treat them as such. When we value another person we communicate to them that they are important enabling them to live a more meaningful life.
So what’s the Point…?
Congratulations, you made it to the part of the post where I tell you what to do! I love this part. Honestly though, I am telling myself what to do more than I am telling you. I am sure you are already out there being the best you can be, and changing the lives of those around you. I need a reminder though, so I am telling myself, “get out there and change the world!” Quite the lofty goal. Here’s the thing though, if every moment of our lives holds significance, if we realize we are important and treat others as though they are important too, the world will change. I promise you that if you do these things the world will be different. Even though the ways you change the world may feel small a billion small things that a billion people do can lead to big change.