I had started writing the content for this blog post a week ago. I had the topic and a general direction I wanted to take it. But just like the wind, the topic stayed the same, but the direction shifted.
The shift took place as I reflect on the birthday wishes received via social media, phone, text, and in person. Today marks another year older for me, another year past. Birthdays are that one unique day where people seem to take a moment out of their busy lives and appreciate you in those two words that start with “H” and “B.” And sometimes, someone even expands, going into detail about why you hold a special place of impact in their lives.
There is a quote I’ve seen several places, but also attributed to Mother Teresa that says:
“Some people come in your life as blessings. Some people come in your life as lessons.”
In recalling the well wishes of the day, I wonder how that rings true for each person I come into contact with in a given year? For that matter, how does it look for us all?
As you advance through life, are you a blessing or a lesson to others? Or both? Lessons can be both positive or negative, you know? Do you bless others with your encouragement, attitude, and presence? Or do you offer a lesson – one they take away willingly and thankfully or one they will regret you for?
Why do I pose these questions? Well, one reason is because of Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Mother Teresa was an exceptional example of being “all in.” She is most known for her compassion and charitable works for those who were poor, afflicted, and suffering in Calcutta, India and around the world. She is as best of a case study as anyone will find for putting others first, herself second. She sacrificed and lived a life of service to others. She did her best to do the good things God planned for her. By almost every account, she was relatively successful.
As I think of each person who reached out today, if only by social media, I think of the two-way street of impact: that they have had on my life, and that I suspect I may have had on theirs, if ever so small. Truth be told, I will never truly know what my impact was, if any. And that is not important. But I know this. Each day that goes by is wasted if the effort is not made to serve and be seen as a blessing. Lessons come from blessings, and blessings come from those with a servant’s heart. Look at Mother Teresa.
As my birthday has come and gone, I will continually work to this end. Can I count on those of you in my life to do the same? The ripple effect here is that we all prompt each other to good things. While you have breath in your lungs, make every moment worthy and full of impact. You never know how your waves wash over someone else.