A biography, as defined by Wikipedia, “is a detailed description of a person’s life. It involves more than just basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or resume, a biography presents a subject’s life story, highlighting various aspects of their life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject’s personality.”
When all is said and done, when your life is on the ebbtide, what will people have to say about your history? I look at real-life legends such as Christa McAuliffe, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Clemmons and wonder how my own obituary will read. Will I be viewed as someone who wisely used the 29,220 days given to me? Of my 500,000 waking hours, how many did I turn toward helping others? Was my life a product for good?
There is greatness, and there is less. Many of us think that we are not great because we have not achieved wonderful, newsworthy outcomes in our life. We are deluged with the lives portrayed in Real Housewives, Horse Whisperers, pirate Johnny Depp, and Unsolved Mysteries. We are not these high-profile personages. Yet, we are each of us someone. I contend that raising children has greatness associated with it. Not that it has to be perfect; it must just be done as well as possible given the material and the child with which to work.
An interesting fact to remember is that the President of the United States, the CEO of Pfizer, and the Pope all have the same number of hours in the day as you or I. It is not how many hours are given to us that matters as much as what we do with them. Sometimes I am exhausted and cannot do much at all. Other times a little depression sneaks up on me, and I don’t WANT to do anything. Most of the time, I am just fine and can choose to do what I wish.
We can select a grand vision to embrace and throw our full weight to produce a ripple effect in world history within that sphere. Just as importantly, we can take on a small task and do it extremely well—little fish in a big pond or big fish in a little pond. I have a friend who has dinner at the assisted living facility, memory-care unit with his mother almost every night. Another friend and his wife don’t vacation on tropical islands. Instead, they take a week off and go on a mission anywhere in the world that they feel can be benefited by their assistance. I admire the doctors at the Veterans Administration Hospital who could be making five times as much money in private practice.
Bicycle ministers in India consider it a good month when they bring one person to the saving knowledge of Jesus and what He did for us. That is twelve per year, every year. The drug rehab program sites are staffed 365 days per year with 30 to 40 guests. Yet they are considered successful when 10% of their guests actually give up their addiction. That may mean four people are safe from drugs. Just four. Still, they continue to do that good work.
So I ask the question of myself. What can I do today? What big passion can I take on and have an impact on? How will the biography of my outcome read, when the tide has gone out?
By Bob Bekins
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