We can make a difference

A young Christian man, intending humour rather than harm, described one of his acquaintances to me as a “waste of skin.”

A young Christian man, intending humour rather than harm, described one of his acquaintances to me as a “waste of skin.”

An amicable and lively conversation ensued. In course of time we agreed that the expression was not only unkind, but biblically inaccurate. We also concluded that mankind is God’s special creation, hence never a “waste of skin.” However, we simultaneously concurred that it is entirely possible to fritter away resources, squander time and consequently have a wasted life. Our final analysis was that life should be lived in such a way that we are making a difference.

It is rather distressing to think that some lives are depleted without making any significant impact or difference…such as Nancy Jones, an elderly spinster. She lived to be a considerable age, but apparently, without making any notable difference.

It was incumbent on the local newspaper editor to write her obituary. But he was stumped…the longer he thought about the oldest resident in their town, the more convinced he was that all she had done was live long and contribute little. The person doing her headstone had called and shared that he too was heartily challenged with what to inscribe. The editor decided to delegate the trying task to the first reporter who came though his door.

No sooner had he devised the plan than the new sportswriter crashed in asking for his assignments for the day. The editor provided a list for him with the writing of a brief epitaph for Nancy at the top of the list. The reporter was new to his post and dared not argue, but quickly went to work and began research of his own on Nancy Jones.

It is said that if you visit Nancy’s grave today you will find the same words on her headstone that were published in the newspaper that week. It reads, “Here lie the bones of Nancy Jones, for her life held no terrors. She lived a maid, she died a maid, no hits, no runs, no errors.”

God placed us on earth to make a contribution…to make a difference, not just to take up space and consume resources. Jesus told His followers that they are to be “…the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13, 14). Salt adds flavor and light shows the way…making a difference.

Ephesians 2:10 adds that “God has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do” These “good deeds” are prepared by God and to be performed by us. And as we fulfill them, we are fulfilled…making a difference.

We won’t hit every ball, make only home runs or make no errors…but we can make a difference!