We’re traveling quite a bit recently, seeing family and all. Our children have dispersed globally—if there were reasonably inhabitable colonies on the moon, at least one of my kinder would be there. Even our nearest kin are out of state. I told our youngest daughter, (the one currently residing in Scandinavia), that her software engineer husband needs to hurry up with that transporter beam. Until then, however, it’s the car or the airline.
I’ve flown plenty, but Bob still gives me the window seat. There’s just that wonderful rush when the plane speeds noisily down the runway, then the cabin gets quiet as the ground just falls away. I love it.
Of course, not long after that happens, the flight attendants begin their little demonstration that no one pays attention to, but should. Instead we go back to staring out the window or reading the magazine in the seat pocket. I think it’s somewhat comical when they instruct us on how to put on the life jacket under the seat when we’re flying from Missouri to southern Cal…??
One of the things I don’t remember them covering (or maybe I was…ahem…not paying attention) is how to prepare for the initial impact should that occur. Good grief, even over water there’s going to be a rough go of it. Maybe that’s a bit too graphic to discuss as we’re heading toward a 30,000-foot cruising altitude?
In everyday life, impact isn’t always a bad thing, however. For example, I say I want to positively “impact” others’ lives, whether it’s through face-to-face contact or even the written word. The challenge comes when I’m not ready for how that impact can potentially affect me…
- Changes or priorities in use of time. Once you impact someone, or people on a larger scale, your time use will be challenged. People will want a piece of it, maybe a lot. Pastors, as a prime example, can easily fall into this trap and neglect the ministry in their own heart (time with God alone) or their own home (marriage and family).
- Pride. I think another word for it is co-dependency. I need to you to affirm my value (as if Christ hasn’t done enough for that already), or just to stoke my own ego (which is supposed to be “dead” anyway.)
- Misdirection of focus. Why did God allow that impact in the first place? And does my focus fit properly under that purpose?
To name a few. Most of us don’t have to deal with our particular impact on a massive scale, (personally, my largely introverted self has grown to appreciate obscurity); however, preparing for any level of impact is a crucial life skill often overlooked. Because God has created us to affect others—it’s part of the function of His family.
God says this:
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
I can choose to listen…or go back to staring out the window.