Could You Influence Anything? Take A Step Back and Look.

Here is a post with an interesting question. It is one a historian would ask. “Ask yourself, can one person have the influence of a Paul, Augustine, Jefferson, MLK, or John Paul II?”

Do you want to know how small and insignificant we are? On a clear night, find a spot as far as you can from city lights. Then spread out a blanket, lay on your back, and gaze up into the sky. Think about what you a seeing. Endless numbers of stars, a universe that appears to go on and on without end.

What influence did Paul, Augustine, Jefferson, MLK, or John Paul II have? Earth is only a small little ball of mud, one of the many small objects that circle around a minor yellow star. If an asteroid crashed into us, would anyone care? We live in the midst of a nearly empty void that dwarfs even the most gigantic stars. We worry about influencing this tiny little world, but how is that we exist at all?

Fortunately, Jesus told us what we should fear. There is our Creator, God. The Bible says God cares, that each of us matters.

Luke 12:4-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Teaches the Fear of God

4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

God has a plan for each of us. Is it to influence this world? Maybe not.

If all we do is tell our neighbors about the Gospel, we have glorified our Creator. If we love our Maker above all else, have we not done — will we not do — what He asks. When we love God and strive to obey Him, what else matters?

Read Philip’s post. Then remember what he says. We must rely upon our faith in God and His grace.

Communio

I think it’s easy to write about Church History, doctrine, canon laws, etc.

It’s easy to talk about how Catholics, or any simply Christian, should conduct themselves by the edicts of their professed Church. I look up a source, type it up, cite it, and give it to you.

It’s even easy to dust off one’s metaphorical or literal soapbox, step up, look at the empty and strange faces in the crowd and preach what we think is the message of the Gospel.

So what is difficult? I find it’s difficult to understand God, and his message, because I’m human. The divine is simply something when I meditate on is something that feels so distant, although at times it rushes through my soul–and evaporates so to speak. God comes to us through His grace. He invites us into a relationship with Him, after millenniums of we humans rejecting His grace…

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13 thoughts on “Could You Influence Anything? Take A Step Back and Look.

  1. Your post provokes a lot of thought, Tom. Thank you once again. As I ponder the other post to which you have linked, I hold onto this truth: God chooses to use the “foolish things” to confound the wise. He has chosen to use individuals to share the gospel, person-to-person. He could have announced it in a spectacular fashion from the heavenlies to all the world… And as we know, Christ, in fact, will one day appear to the world in such a grand and glorious manner. But God’s initial outstretched hand of grace has come through what seemed an insignificant child, born in a manger… One who as He entered three years of intensive ministry, touched the lives of sinners… misfits; One who called fishermen and tax collectors to be His friends and disciples. And that One has promised to continue His work through us… to use us to share the good news that He died as our substitute on the cross in order that we might be justified before the Holy and Just Creator of all things. And so, I cannot believe that our “small” spheres of influence are inconsequential. A mustard seed of faith in God’s economy may yet move a mountain. Gideon and his band succeeded by the power of God…As I reflect on this, I conclude that it is not what we do but in whom we trust. Fantastic questions, thoughts and post, Tom! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments and your posts!

      Gideon and his band succeeded by the power of God…As I reflect on this, I conclude that it is not what we do but in whom we trust.

      That is the way to put it. So long as we trust Him, we matter because we belong to Him.

      Like

  2. Interesting,Tom! Something we must be careful of is that another word for “influence” is “control.”

    We matter, we have a tremendous impact on the world around us and on the parts of the world we cannot see. Ephesians 6:12 comes to mind, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    I call that ripples on the pond. We can’t see how important we are or what impact our ripples are having in spiritual places, whether they will each the other shore, what purpose they serve. All I’m certain of is that they serve a vital purpose and that God is in control.

    There’s a saying I really like, “remember you are never as important or as unimportant as you think you are.” We are very tiny in the universe, but we are also the apple of our Father’s eye,which makes us very important indeed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad Tom read this post. Really, a lot of my post are informative or give explanations of my thought. I believe Christ to be truth and should have faith that in His will and divine plan.

      I’ve forgotten that a great tool of blogging is to break through one’s melancholy. I feel this way and I need to hear someone else’s view, I need to hear something hopeful.

      Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “There’s a saying I really like, “remember you are never as important or as unimportant as you think you are.”

      I like it too. It’s actually the best quote I’ve heard in a while.
      Sort of sums it all up. 🙂
      Though we are very small, every human touches another in so many ways.
      The smallest things can have a great impact, for good or for ill.

      I have a couple of friends in the military (well, a lot of friends but this is two friends in particular).
      One of them recently had to go on a short TDY to Europe. Another was traveling back to Iraq after a mid tour break, spending a couple of weeks with his family. He has six month left there. They both know each other well.
      The one traveling to Europe had recently recovered from shingles…he almost didn’t go, but the day before he actually felt well enough and didn’t cancel the trip. It just so happened they were at the same airport, at the same time, in the same coffee shop line. He said the friend who was going to Iraq looked absolutely shattered after having to leave his family. Rather than offering encouragement, it was almost worse to see them and remember what he lost. They hugged, and spoke for a long while. A week later when he returned from Europe he said he believes deeply that he was intended to meet that friend in the airport. Their conversation had such a deep impact. It restored his hope, as only a person who can relate can do (both have been deployed numerous times in combat zones out there).

      Do words have an impact? Do blogs?
      Of course they do.
      Just reading this thread topic has had an impact on me.
      I think it’s important, though, to pick one’s metaphorical battles.
      A great deal of time and energy can be lost in worrying about everything.
      Although it is true that small things have a great impact it is also true that one has to place a priority on what’s most important.
      There is only so much time in a day, and the internet is filled with hostile, facile people (though none of them seem to be here….thank you Citizen Tom!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are much appreciated.

        I wish our leaders would give more thought about what frequent deployment in Middle East combat zones is cost our personnel. We are supposedly at peace, but when we have to send our military personnel repeatedly away from their families and into a combat zone, I suspect they begin to suffer war fatigue.

        Like

        1. Agreed, Tom. Deployment rates are probably worse than ever..
          Consequences of a shrinking force, takes its toll.
          Most people have no idea. This is a problem.
          But I didn’t mean to get political, nor did I intend to be a downer there.
          I actually intended it to be upbeat, but reading through it again I guess it kind of a downer.

          Like

          1. @anon

            What you wrote was not a downer. It was a great story. I just did what I tend to do. When I see a problem, I start thinking about a solution.

            That does not mean I correctly understand the problem or the solution, but it is the way I am wired. I should have, I suppose, marveled at the Lord’s work in bringing two friends together when one needed the other. I should have glorified the Lord. Another problem? Another solution? God, help me!

            Like

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