I have had a lot of time over the past week to think about this in a number of ways. Most notably in the life of someone who made a difference in the lives of many…but there are many things that come to mind when I think about leaving a mark.
First, I think about the old love cliché of carving your initials into a tree surrounded by a heart; or even when you are a child, sitting somewhere and carving or writing your name with the age old ‘was here’ statement – sometimes even leaving the date for a future viewer to see.
Another way is in the legacy that is left behind by great successes. This has been forefront over the past week with the loss of Carla Swart…arguably the greatest cyclist to ever ride in the collegiate ranks. Carla won 19 collegiate national titles in her career as a rider for Lees-McRae College, and in that time made a large impact on the lives of the community in which she lived.
Thinking about the imprint that Carla made on the lives of so many, I started thinking about others throughout history that left their mark on the lives of those around them. Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, and countless others throughout history have made a remarkable impact on the lives of many, utilizing their strengths to benefit the world in which they lived; and in doing so, make the lives of those around them a little better because of the life they chose to follow.
The greatest example of selfless devotion to the life they were called to live is Jesus. Jesus Christ lived a life that many of us can look at and see the mark that was left on our hearts and in the lives of so many around us. Christ came to earth to live a life of selflessness, sacrifice, and conviction. Jesus opened himself up to public scrutiny so that those he came to die for would have a reason to live.
What is the mark that you are leaving in the lives of those around you? Are you living your life with a smile, without complaint, without reserve? Take the time today to examine yourself, examine your mark…better yet, take a long look at the mark you are leaving…does it glorify the life that Jesus gave freely so that you could have the life you have?
Leave your mark today…you never know when you might make a difference, but you can live in a way that ensures you do make the difference for someone…it may be as simple as a smile…or the way you handle a difficult situation…whatever it is, leave your mark for the world to see, but make sure that mark is shining the light of the love that was given so many years ago…the light of Christ…you may be the only light some will see.