From time to time, I find myself reading bits and pieces of a biography of Christian Reformer Martin Luther. It’s a fairly comprehensive work, and begins with a discussion of Luther’s parents and hometown.
As the author makes comments about Luther’s father, it’s interesting to me that most of his sources are Luther’s own writings.
The majority of what we know about Luther’s father is a result of Luther’s own life.
That got me thinking: what would be known of my father from an examination of my life so far?
Many revelations about myself are captured on my Silhouette page. But scanning through the items mentioned there, I’m quite certain that you couldn’t get much of a sense about my own origins, much less any specifics about my father. That’s not because my dad has been insignificant; rather I suppose it’s just testimony to my degree of self-absorption as I write.
That takes me to another level of thought: what would be known of my Heavenly Father from an examination of my life so far?
As people observe and hear my story, what would they learn of who He is, what He’s done? Would there be much detail? Could some later biographer fill the first few chapters of his book with statements about God based upon the testimony of my life?
I’m not so certain that he could.
We Christians say that we live for God, that we desire to point others toward Him. How often do we actually achieve that? I point myself toward Him. I point my wife toward Him. I think I occasionally point my intimate friends toward Him. But random strangers who might someday read my biography or memoirs? Not so likely.
That would be a whole other level of intentionality in living, to be considering my achievements and legacy–not for what they say about me–but evaluated according to their effectiveness in pointing others to God. By that standard, I don’t know that I could lay claim to much of an illustrious life.
But there’s time. My life’s not over yet. All is not lost. I still have the opportunity to live in such a way that others will get a sense of who God is.
Now, how exactly do I do that?