What sort of impact are you making?
Have you ever used a hammer? I mean a big, heavy, power driving hammer? The first home my wife and I owned was a seventy year old fixer upper – also known as a money pit. To a bright eyed young couple, though, it looked like a dream. We even romanticized working on it, picturing everyday of labor as being a work montage straight out of an eighties movie. You know the ones, where the plucky youths fix up the community center over the course of a three an half minute up beat song.
Yeah, real life doesn't work like that.
One of the valuable lessons I learned from this experience had to do with impact. I had done my fair share of “handy man” work over the years and was comfortable with various tools. I knew this house had to be stripped down to the studs and the joists and built back up. I knew that I would need a big, heavy hammer to do the job. So I went to the hardware store and bought a nice, new Craftsman three pound hammer with a rubberized grip.
It felt great in my hands. I could pull the hammer back and as it fell forwards I could feel the extra “umph” of gravity added to my meager strength. It made a nice thud when it hit the nail and made quick work of even the most stubborn projects. It made a wonderful impact.
… until it hit my thumb.
The impact it made then was equally as powerful as when it hit the nail but it made more of a squish sound that was quickly drowned out by my yelps of pain. I looked at the hammer in anger and felt almost a sense of betrayal. “After all we've been through together, how could you hit my thumb instead of the nail?” The problem was the hammer only did what I had directed it to do. The problem wasn't with the hammer – it was with me. Specifically it was with my focus. I had lost focus on what I was doing. I still made an impact but it wasn't the one I had intended.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus Said:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” [HCSB]
We all want to live a life that makes an impact, in fact we are designed to make an impact. An impact on our family, our friends and the world at large. All of us will have an impact on this world – good or bad - whether we realize it or not. The thing that determines the impact we make is our focus. In this crazy world if we are only focused on our own needs, on getting ahead, on being popular then that will effect our impact.
If we are focused on Jesus and His commands (love God, love your neighbor) then we will make a positive impact on this world. If not? Well, let's just say we will end up with some sore thumbs.
Till next time,