Make a Mark: Part 3

Posted: November 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

This is the final post in the Make a Mark series. Part 1 dealt with Adam and Eve’s desire have more. They eat the forbidden fruit and realize they have sinned. Their response to the sin is to try to cover it up. Part 2 focused on the reality that we often try to hide too. We hide our brokenness, our flaws, our insecurities. We need to realize that in order to make a mark for God, we must be spending time with Him. We must have a time of sabbath. We must put Him first. Today, we will shift to another area of great importance: our family.

We all want to make a mark. We seek out ways to make our mark in the world. I want to challenge you and I to stop looking for a place to make a mark, and start making a mark where God has placed you.

Look at you own home. When you come home and talk to your spouse are they getting the very best? Are the getting the best possible you – or are they getting the leftovers? Is you spouse getting your attention, your time, your respect – or are they getting a disconnected you? Ideally your spouse will be with you through the entire journey of life and they deserve your best. i often wonder if the reason so many marriages end in divorce is because our spouses are not getting our very best. We often give our spouses the leftovers.

What about your children? Are the getting the best you have to offer? Are you giving them the father or mother they deserve – or are you giving them the leftovers? Are you enjoying each moment you spend with your family or are you so busy thinking about the next project, the next task that they do not get your best? Our children need to hear us say, “I can’t do that right now, I am playing catch with my kids.” Our daughters need to hear us say to those who try to keep us busy, “I can’t do that I am having a tea party for a beautiful little girl.” Our sons need to hear, “I can’t help you right now, I am building a fort with my son who is a great architect.”

I must confess that I am guilty. I am guilty of spending so much time focusing on the next project or the unfinished task that I have given my family the leftovers. I am guilty for spending so much time helping others, that I do not support my wife or children the way they deserve. I am guilty of working so hard at finding a place to leave my mark on the world, that i fail to leave a mark in the one place God intends me to start. Our children deserve better. Our spouses deserve better. If things are well at work, but not at home – then things are not well.

Max Lucado shares the following illustration in his book In The Eye of the Storm.

Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two paddleboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other. Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.

One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship’s cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. They ended up winning the race, but burned their cargo.

God has entrusted cargo to us, too: children, spouses, friends. Our job is to do our part in seeing that this cargo reaches its destination. Yet when the program takes priority over people, people often suffer. How much cargo do we sacrifice in order to achieve the number one slot? How many people never reach the destination because of the aggressiveness of a competitive captain?

What mark are you leaving on your family? Our spouse and children know what is really important to us. We may be able to hide from others, but we cannot hide who we are from our families. So go ahead and leave your mark, or better yet, leave God’s mark. We do not have to live anyone else’s mark. We do not need to try to live like someone we view as successful. God has put us where we are to leave a mark for him. It starts with our family. You see, we are all making a mark; it is up to us decide what that mark will be – and whose mark it will be.

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