by Andrew Cromwell
Almost everyone wants to have a feeling of significance for their life. Something deep inside us cries out for it. We all want to “leave a mark”, “make a change”, and “be somebody.”
But what does it mean to “leave a mark”?
For some, it is about the number of facebook friends or instagram followers they have. For others it is about making a lot of money and buying the big houses and toys that impress others. Some choose to go the political route and seek to make a change for the better. They measure success in terms of mouths fed, freedoms protected, or children cared for.
How do you measure significance in your life?
The author of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, is said to have been the wisest man, ever. He had a rather skeptical view of our ability to make a difference in the world. Here’s what he says:
“What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.”
Now that’s some pretty depressing stuff! But at the same time, this is something we would all do well to pay attention to. Isn’t it true that we will be forgotten by future generations? For most of us, it won’t take very long at all for our name to be lost. Almost anything we do today is pretty meaningless in the vast scope of things.
So what is the lesson? Humility.
Certainly, we can do great and significant things in this life. But let’s all remember how small we all are in the big picture. And actually rather than making us depressed and despondent, this reality should actually make us feel better. We should feel a weight lifted off of our shoulders as our understanding of what it means to be significant is changed forever.
So if we don’t have to worry about doing something so big that it will be remembered 1,000 years from now—because no one will remember it anyway—what do we need to focus on when it comes to living a life of significance?
Two things. Your character and your relationships.
If you want to leave a mark in this world for the better, then get your internals right and get your relationships right. People that make a mark for the better are those who have found a way to kill selfishness and self-serving impulses and are focused on serving and loving others. It’s that simple.
Simple, but the most difficult thing you’ll ever do. The only way I know how to really get your character to change and to learn how to really improve your relationships is to go to the One who formed you in the first place—God. You can make a lot of change without Him, but you’ll only get so far. And it’s pretty incredible what can happen when you get Him involved!