I posted recently about the notion of significant impact being tied to relatively brief cultural phenomena; the original Star Trek and Zorro TV series were my case studies.
I concluded by mentioning that I do want my life to be impactful–not necessarily on the scale of these fictional characters, but to make some difference in the lives of those around me nonetheless.
Upon further reflection, I’ll add in another dynamic: Back to the Future.
After writing the previous post, I realized that I can’t insist that my life be impactful right now. Sometimes, we have seasons of life which help to prepare us for contributions later on.
My thoughts turn to a few biblical characters…
Abraham was an old man before God ever told him to pack up his tent and head toward the Promised Land. What was he doing for the first 2/3 of his life?
How about Moses? He had a pretty plush beginning growing up in Pharaoh’s house, but then went into self-exile for 40 years, so that at the age of 80 he really got started on his “career” as leader of the Children of Israel–which basically meant traipsing around the desert for 40 years with a bunch of complaining ex-slaves.
And then there’s David. He was told that he was going to be king when he was a teenager, but he had to run around like a crazy man (literally) for a while before he actually took the throne, some 15 years later.
These are some of the central figures of the Old Testament, and none of them started their path of impact from the very beginning and stayed on it for their entire lives. They each had seasons of preparation, experiences that God took them through, a timing that He ordained, before they would engage in their life’s work.
It reminds me a bit of Back to the Future. Marty McFly certainly didn’t seem to be on a path of impact–he was a high school delinquent that was interested in little else than loud electric guitars and sleeping in…except for his fascination with Doc Brown. During his time helping the doctor with his experiments, and his slingshotting forward and backward through time over the course of the trilogy of films, he built experience that led to a life of profoundly chronological (albeit anachronistic) impact.
I’m heading into a new season, perhaps officially making the move during the coming week. Will the next three years be a time of impact? If so, will the impact be immediately observable, or will it cause ripples that will only be felt in later life?
Will this coming season be primarily a time of preparation, an opportunity for experience and personal growth which will allow me to be of help to others sometime in the future?
It may be a little of both, some impact now and some development toward future contribution.
I don’t know what you’d get if you mixed together Capt Kirk, Zorro, and Marty McFly–a procrastinating, cape-wearing starship captain who rides a skateboard and wields a saber? Nonetheless, that may be exactly where I’m headed.
I would like a life of impact…someday. Who’s to say if that’s now or yet to come? Or perhaps something I’ve already done will be the most significant accomplishment of my life…something from my past coming back to the future.
(Oh yes, and congratulations to me on completing a “goal“: this is my 100th post.)