Your Life, Your Impact
By: Kristen L. McNulty
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Recently I watched the movie "It's A Wonderful Life". You probably know the story. George Bailey finds himself in a tough spot, feeling like he's about to let everyone down and he ends up wishing that he was never born. So God sends him an angel to show him what the world would be like if he had never been born and it's a very different place. This guys family, friends and community are all much darker and life for them is worse, not better without him. In the movie George is given a chance to see what most of us will not see on this side of heaven- exactly what kind of impact our lives have on those around us. And don't be fooled. Your life does have an impact.
I know that many of us don't believe that. We buy into the lie that we are insignificant and that there is no way we could have a lasting impact on the people we rub shoulders with, but that's not true. Everyday that you are here on this earth, you make an impact. You don't have a choice in the matter- the only choice you do have is what kind of an impact you are going to make.
You could look at every opportunity as a chance to do something good or lasting. Or you can glance at that opportunity and dismiss it because you don't think it can amount to much of anything. The choice is yours and the choice that you make will effect other people, positively or negatively.
We don't live our lives in a bubble and we were never intended to. The ripples of our actions do touch the lives of those around us. The people we go to school with. The people we live with. The people we pass by at the mall or on the street. The people who live next door. Everything we do and everything we say has the potential to reach someone in a lasting way.
Think of the people who have most impacted you in your life. Chances are it was something seemingly small that they did that touched you in a big way. And chances are they weren't even aware of the impact they had- they were just being them. I know that's the story in my life and in the lives of many of the people around me; that often the smallest actions have the biggest impacts. Whether that was a smile you got on a really bad day or the random act of kindness that reminded you that you aren't alone or the helping hand you received at the moment you needed it the most. Often we look for huge opportunities to change the world when the biggest opportunities are right in front of us.
So as we start another new year before looking for the next biggest and best thing or once in a lifetime opportunity, why don't you stop and consider what God has already placed in your path and the opportunities that might exist there? Whether that's making a phone call to a friend you haven't seen in a while or bringing cookies to the neighbor next door or stopping to talk for a few minutes with the person who serves you coffee everyday. Your life, your every move, does make an impact. So today make the choice to make sure that you live your life in such a way that what you do doesn't expire today, but carries on and makes a lasting impression in the lives of the people God has placed all around you.
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