Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Am finally settled; church wise that is. It sure helps to have more than four pastors with alternating sermons through the weeks. Caught up in the nods and shouts of agreement the sermon on how we should not be generalists filtered through to the congregation. Having embarked on a forty day community service and volunteer ship was therefore the need for impactfulness both as a church and as individuals. In this we were made to understand our creator's intention for our lives being that we have a life-long impact on others. I briefly digressed to some words I had heard spoken in a movie about how the three most important things in our lives were to love our creator, ourselves and others and hoped for discernment on this issue.
In the biblical book of Luke10:38 one cannot help but wonder at the comparisons of the two sisters Martha and Mary and at the choice by one to engage in house work and preparation at entertainment, that then earned hear a chiding, as another curled up at the feet of the master to listen to the teaching dispensed therein. And as the former keeps up the grumbling is the conscious effort by the latter at learning and gaining education that would prove priceless. These bold moves at prioritization of what was really important later on prove Mary's pace setting and charismatic qualities as she falls at the master's feet informing him of her brother's death, not in a castigating tone like her sister had done before but in one that is filled with sorrowful reverence earning her a miracle.
Closer yet was the description of a generalist as being one who is just there; a person of mediocre existence, depicting a lack of uniqueness and short of exceptions. There will always be those that defy this lack-luster existence and choose the path of impactfulness, the cutting edge existence, possessing the need to be influential. What separates people who possess the same potential, who are brought up under similar circumstances, same environment, who probably eat the same food and share the same roof however is the conscious effort to go that extra mile but most importantly the knowledge and practice of prioritization.
A class of young children will mostly be made up of those of the same age, exposed to the same educational curriculum, same teachers and teaching methods. Yet from this concoction of personalities will arise people that stand out in the future becoming the ever demanded surgeons, pilots or leaders even as others remain generalist in their approach to life and in their outlook, never causing any ripples in society, never thinking outside their eight to five box of engagements, never seeing the constellation of opportunities around them and especially never outside the confines of their disciplines nor ever disengaging from themselves. They will grey away in disinterest, indifferent even to volunteer ventures. In their minds will be a lack of understanding of life's need for impactful living; that we be felt and that we influence.
Some people are impactful or are able to draw others to them in order that some good may be done for all; they are those that consciously decide to firstly prioritize what is the most important. To be a person that is not swayed therefore by what swims around us means putting first things first. It means knowing what is important and how its achievement will impact on our lives, on our families or clans or in our offices. Locating the key to what this is lies with the individual's thirst to not only be different but to also be felt differently for your choices will always reflect your values.
Life is for the living, the ever-daring, the ever-trying. One more day is many more chances to try out that which might have seemed like an impossibility yesterday but which today somehow feels possible because we have changed something in ourselves; our outlook, our perceptions, our prioritization. And so like Martha is the need to stop what we are doing and re-prioritize our efforts to a more impactful living.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.
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