It’s been said if you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life. It seems all good people want to touch the lives of others. Who doesn’t want to make a difference?
But how does one go from wanting to make a difference to actually touching someone’s life? In a world where people are still searching to “find themselves” it can be difficult to inspire others. Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “When one is out of touch with oneself, one cannot touch others.” If that is true, imagine what happens to a world that’s out of touch with itself.
Take for example, youths trying to emulate the bad behavior of famous celebrities. They may be “touched” to try and become their mirror image. But because many celebrities do not know who they really are, well, neither do the ones trying to imitate them, which makes becoming their mirror image impossible. The results? Youths, even adults, suffer from an identity crisis.
How, then, can we get in touch with ourselves so we can touch the lives of others in a good way? This calls for an honest self-examination as to who we have turned out to be and who we really want to be. Do we need to make changes? Don’t be afraid to admit it if you do. Embrace the opportunity of a new you.
Asking a series of questions until the truth emerges is essential in personal growth. Questions like, what is the purpose of my life? What are my goals? Why did I choose this career? What is my potential? What really makes me happy? Am I as happy as I want to be? Why don’t I take more initiative in life? How do I feel about God? Do I practice what God asks of me? Take your time. Don’t be afraid to find out who you really are and who you really want to be. As you do, try to identify the benefits of making changes. Ask yourself: What do I lose? What will I gain?”
If you believe in God, take to heart the counsel at Romans 12:2: “Do not act like the sinful people of the world. Let God change your life. First of all, let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do. And the things you do will be good and pleasing and perfect.” — New Life Version.
For God to “give you a new mind,” you have to learn what He thinks and what He wants you to do. That information can be found in His Word, the Bible. Why not read it daily and study it? When we let God touch our lives, we become a better person. Then we can touch the lives of others. But it starts with being honest with ourselves and being determined to make needed changes. Many people who have touched the lives of others have had to commit to doing more than following the crowd.
Nelson Mandela, said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
President Jimmy Carter said, “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something. My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”
Robert F. Kennedy said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
No one has done that more effectively than Jesus Christ. He touched the lives of everyone he met, including his enemies. He is still touching lives by the example he set, the words he spoke, the things he did and the things he is now doing to prepare the “meek” who will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5) and the “pure in heart’ who will see God (Matthew 5:8).
If you want to touch the lives of others in the most powerful way possible, try applying God’s Word in your daily life. As Jesus said at Matthew 7:24-27: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” — New International Version.
If we are obedient to the best of our ability, our relationship with God will not only be built on a rock-solid foundation, but we will touch the lives of the people we meet just as God touched ours.
So, if you want to make a difference, if you want to touch the future — touch a life. Go ahead. But let that “touch” be the same inspiration that touched you, that changed you, that made you live today the way you want to be remembered tomorrow.