Influence

daylight.gifIf you ever wondered how to make a man get misty eyed on a flight from Baltimore to Columbus, give him a copy of “Chasing Daylight” by Erwin McManus and see what happens. More specifically, take him directly to Chapter 4 and have him read the story on page 117-121 about “Ron the Gas Station attendant” and “Dave the UPS Driver”. Folks, I thought I was gonna need a tissue. What an incredibly heartbreaking, but powerful story about the impact we have on other peoples lives. The stories to long to repeat here, but the quotes from McManus bear repeating:

“The power of influence when we seize divine moments can be disproportinate to its apparent importance. What may look like an inconvenience might be no less than the beginning of a life-changing opportunity.”

“We must never underestimate where influence can take us. One of the ways to miss divine moments is to treat what we consider nominal influence as irrelevant. We must never underestimate the importance of one moment, one word, one deed in the life of another human being.”

I think this story and these quotes hit home because it is very similar to a story that happened to me as I was conducting my “goodbye tour”. It’s a bit lengthy as well, but the bottom line was it showed me the impact that we have on others lives. You don’t have to be a professional athlete, be on a stage or do anything special to have influence. Often the biggest influence one can have is in the life they live. There are those we influence and those that influence us. As McManus said, it’s no coincidence that the word “flu” is in the middle of influence. It’s something you can catch and spread without even knowing or seeing it.

10 thoughts on “Influence

  1. The point you are making is beyond our ability to even comprehend. By this I mean, yours and my influence is like dropping a pebble in a pond…and this pond has no shore….wave after wave, it goes on and on! I think in heaven we will come to know to what extent our influence affected others. It brings to mind that heart-warming story, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

  2. When I was in college a pastor friend of mine gave me a great piece of advice. He told me he keeps a folder of notes people give him, telling him how they’ve been influenced/touched/etc. by him and his ministry. When he has those days when the whole world appears to be caving in on him, he can always go read the things in that folder and be reminded that God has indeed used him in unexpected ways.

  3. Great points. In the book “When Christ Comes”, Max Lucado paints a picture of the day we arrive in heaven. I’ll be honest, the first time I read it, I was a train wreck. His words combined with thoughts of what it will be like to see the circles of people we knew and those we didn’t even know we had impacted is incredible.

    Code6 – I totally recommend this book! I’m only half way through it, but will probably finish it on my trip to Philly this week. It’s a great reminder to maximize every opportunity and not to wait for God to make something happen. He calls us to have the faith to act and allow him to do what he intended through us.

  4. I just listened to his podcast, “Destiny: Dysfunction. It is great. I laffed through the whole thing and he made some awesome points. Can’t wait to get the book now.

  5. I will never forget a co-worker back in 1988 who overheard me talking about my fascination with channeling, communicating with spirits, reincarnation etc. She told me about a series her pastor(Bill Hybels) was doing on different religions and would I be interested in a tape on New Age spirituality. I thought, “cool, I could really learn a lot!”. She gave me the tape and never pestered me about it. I listened to it. And never ventured into those things again. I was convinced it was a big lie. Her name is Diane. In those years since, I have had the opportunity to minister through music to a lot of people over time. And who knows how many they have touched through their own lives and ministries. My point is that with one question and one gesture, Diane’s influence has spread over 18 years, across the country and world. I can’t wait to see her in heaven and see how many people she touched. What a blast!

  6. Now I want to read the book!
    I don’t know what the gas station story is about but once when I was waiting at the pump on a busy day a lady in the car across form me lit into the attendant and almost had the guy in tears.
    He came overto my car, hanging his head and I felt the compassion of the Lord well up in my heart for him. So I smiled and said it sounded like he was having a rough day then went on to encourage him and blessed him, and when I left he was smiling and I thought how easy it is to cheer someone up…
    But also how easy it is to tear them down as that woman had.

    May the Lord help us to speak words of life to others!

    Blessings to you Aaron! May your travels be blessed.

    Susan

    and sorry for the long comment…

  7. Keep those stories coming! I enjoy reading other people’s adventures. The beauty is we never will know the full scope of influence. Amazing. Thanks for your comments.

  8. “…when you and God begin having a conversation, it is going to terrify you. If you can just have a moment of interaction with the Creator of the Universe and get a small glimpse of the life he imagines and sees for you, it will cause the hairs on the neck to stand up, it will give you goosebumps, it will take your breath away, and you will wonder how in the world could God expect you to live that kind of life.”

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