Monday, December 5, 2011

Leave A Mark

In the 90s, my sons had a NASCAR racing video game.  The venerable Benny Parsons recorded some chatter that played at random times during the race.  One of the more memorable quotes, often played when there was a wreck, “That’s gonna leave a mark!”  Hopefully, avoiding wrecks, all of us would like to think we’re doing something significant that will leave a mark in this world.

In the Dust Bowl Depression days of the 1930s my parents attended Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas, but never managed a return visit until the 70s or 80s.  I was with my folks as they strolled the memory-laden and all-grown-up campus.  Inside the oldest building on campus, Gates Hall, my dad found a staffer and made a strange request – “Can we go up to the third floor on the east side of the building.”  I love a cliffhanger.  Let’s pause here for a word from our Sponsor.
This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. (John 1:9)
Jesus was a light entering a pitch black room.  Everything was illuminated by Him.  There are no dark corners in the spiritual world which Jesus inhabits.  There is no continent where the Gospel has not been preached.  While there may be isolated tribes where Jesus’ name has never been spoken, they are spectacular exceptions which prove the rule.  Safe to say, The Word of God has left His mark in every part of our world.

In stark contrast, we have the fictional, but eerie testimony of one “Eleanor Rigby”:
Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved
I have no idea what was on Paul McCartney’s mind when he wrote those words testifying to a life of zero significance.  How sad that Eleanor’s name was not remembered by a sibling, a neighbor, a random stranger who was blessed by a good deed or kind from her.  Maybe that's the metaphor McCartney intended. Followers of Jesus are expected to make some sort of mark on the world, however great or small.

Up on the balcony of Gates Hall, my dad pointed outward to the portion of the façade sitting atop the columns which could only be seen from the balcony.  Fifty years earlier, with a dark charcoal pencil, Carl A. Smith scrawled his iconic brand “CAS” on that façade.  You’d have to stand there yourself to realize how hard it must have been to get up to that façade six feet out and ten feet up above the balcony.  I don’t know how he did it, but it was important enough to him that, indeed, he did it.  He left a mark.

In the “inter-urban” wasteland of Mesquite, Texas in the 40s, my dad was called “The Jesus Man”.  In the unthawed wilderness of central Alaska in the 50s and 60s, my dad was called a church planter.  At my dad’s funeral in the 80s he was called a tool completely used by God.  My dad was a follower of Jesus – he left a mark.

Followers of Jesus have it easy.  We are yoked up with Him and He is doing all the pulling of the plow.  All we have to do is agree to go with Him… and we get to leave a mark.

Clark H Smith

Are you a father?  Visit my other blog - It's Good To Be The Dad - and see how dads can put this illustration to practical use.  Good stuff!

My dear FI readers, would you jump on the Follow Illustrated Facebook page and share a thought, a blessing about someone who made a mark on your life?  So many people have poured their love into our lives, It is fitting that we honor their efforts.

No comments:

Post a Comment