As I found myself in a different country every month last year I often questioned God. What good is just one month? How much could I actually do in four weeks? How deep of a relationship can actually be built in less than thirty days? What fruit can I truly see in a month’s time?
Some days I thought about this more than others. Being completely honest, during the hard months where no fruit was evident I questioned God’s purpose a lot.
But for the past month I’ve found myself with a completely different outlook on this.
It took me coming back to the same place where I spent a month to truly realize the impact that can be made in such a short time.
When I was in the Philippines last November I got to spend a lot of time with the local teenagers. We played basketball together. We did bible studies/awana together. We hung out on the college campus together.
And one night I was even a part of a retreat with them. They had multiple bible studies and seminars packed into one night.
Imagine trying to keep the attention of a group of teenagers late into the night…it’s not an easy thing. So to break up the monotony of the seminars Leah and I were asked to find a way to engage the students and energize them during a break.
We created the perfect workout routine and allowed the students to participate. We did push ups and the superman and declarations and star jumps. We acted goofy and silly and were completely ok with it.
I went to bed that night laughing at our ridiculousness but expecting it to soon become a distant memory.
But that all changed a few weeks ago when I came back to the Philippines and was remembered by these same students as the girl who made them do star jumps.
At first it made me laugh because of the way I was remembered. Since then I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I was only here for three weeks and yet these students remember me.
They don’t remember me because I preached the best sermon they have ever heard. They don’t remember me because I shared a bible verse with them that changed their lives. They don’t remember me because I told them all about jesus.
They remember me because of my sheer ridiculousness.
They knew who I was because when I was with them I cared about them. I joked with them. I played with them. I wasn’t afraid to act silly with them. I was myself with them.
I’ve been battling with writing this for days. When I read it back to myself it sounds like I am bragging to the world that I am memorable. It sounds like I want people to recognize that I was important to the group of people I hung out with. It sounds like I am trying to boost my ego for others to see.
And for all of those reasons I didn’t want to write this. Because I never want you to see me in my writing. I never want to glorify myself or put myself on a pedestal. I want you to see jesus in everything I write.
But I wrote it for the pure fact that I have the privilege to tell you about just how important your relationships are.
Those relationships where you are in someone’s life for a week, or a month or maybe even a year are so much more important than you realize.
People are noticing you. You are influencing people. You are making an impact.
It may be with the person waiting in line at the grocery store.
It may be the person you go out to dinner with.
It may be your child who watches your every move.
It may be the driver beside you at the stop light.
It may be the person you invest in from your small group.
It may be the person you sleep beside every night.
Or it may be someone who overhears one of your conversations.
But wherever it is and whoever it is you, are leaving meaningful impacts.