Jim Johnston, a pastor at The Bridge Fellowship in Lebanon, Tennessee ended a sermon with two points I thought were very insightful.
They were intuitive and I related because I feel we generate so much waste in our lives. And I’m not talking about landfills. I’m talking about a perfectly good waste of our lives. Jim’s points were:
- Don’t waste your wait.
- Don’t waste your influence.
I have a confession. I’m guilty of both. In the time I’ve been waiting for something to happen with my passion of wanting to help others, I have been more dormant than I should have been. What Jim made me realize is while waiting for one thing, you should be working toward something else.
The other waste he talked about was that of our influence. We all have influence, but just in different degrees. In addition to influence, I have two other things: opportunity and connections. We all do. Through opportunities and connection, we can grow our influence.
What are some things you are wasting in your life? Fill in this blank as it pertains to your life: Don’t waste your ___________________________________ .
This is one of mine: Don’t waste your impact.
There was an old man who lived in a retirement home who wouldn’t speak to anyone. Day after day he would solemnly look out a window from his wheelchair. Over time, his family quit coming around. They couldn’t connect. They felt he was a lost cause. No one could ever get him to speak – to the point where the staff gave up on him thinking he could no longer talk. For years he gazed out that window. No one knew what thoughts were going through his mind, if any.
One day, his health took a turn for the worse. He became bedridden as he tail-spinned into the last days of his life. He would slowly cock his head toward that window and keep the same position all day long.
As his condition worsened, he slowly motioned for the priest who was there to read him his last rites. The priest doubled over to hear the faint whisper of the hoarse voice that had not made audio waves in many years. This is what he said:
“For years, I’ve stared out that window. Each day I ask my self what I could have done differently so as to not waste the life I was given. There were no answers in the trees, the sky, or the people walking by. As time went on, I began to feel sorry for myself.
I have wasted a life that was made to impact, to serve, to build. My life is ending and all I have to show is regret. My legacy does not exist. But before I breath my last breath, let it be known I shall not die in vain.
Share this message with the world: Giving up is the most unacceptable form of giving. Give your life away to others to so as not to waste your impact.”
With that, he drew his last breath and passed peacefully.
I know this: I don’t want to one day be an old man and look back on a life of regrets. I owe it to my children and those who I love and build relationships with to not waste one minute of potential impact.
Why? Because I’ve been the recipient of such impact.
The photo above is #7 of what will be “1,ooo Tips to Becoming a Better You.” You can see more at https://leadmeforward.com/1000-tips-to-becoming-a-better-you/