Growing up we had Nana, she was not related to us by blood but she was Nana to well most of the street. I don’t even think we knew her actual first name until we were teenagers. Nana took us all to Wednesday night church growing up, she took care of us, she loved us, and the impact she made on my life is unbelievable. Nana was not a preacher and she did not teach us in Sunday school but her impact resonated far beyond her immediate reach. Nana took us to Bible Quiz, which is how I learned about Teen Mania and how I found myself on my first missions trip. Ask me to this day, and while I may not be able to quote all I could then, I can give you a good paraphrase of what a scripture says and a pretty close location of where it was from those books we did quiz over. It was the youth group that Nana took us to where I began my relationship with Jesus. What would have happened if Nana had not taken us to church, or Bible Quiz, who knows but this I know, God used her and her willingness to take us places to transform my life, and in turn has impacted anyone that has been changed by my actions and exponentially out there.
I also think of sister collins, our Bible Quiz coach, that was so patient with us when we would all show up late (cause we were all in Nana’s van) with our food eating (because Nana was not going to let us starve) and how she would coach us in how to do Bible Quiz, how to score high and how to learn the information then best.
We will never know the impact that we have on someone else’s life. We think that our seemingly small actions are inconsequential and have no impact on anyone besides ourselves. When we look back on our lives we can see the impact that others have had in our lives. If we look at the actions we had in the past we may see some of the ripple effects in other people’s lives. I can remember teachers, one in particular that was the advisor for our Christian club on campus, it was in that club where one of my most important moments happened. Did that person know the impact they had? What if we spent our life thinking that because we were not the preacher, or the evangelist that we made no difference? We would be missing out on how God moved through us.
I can go on for days about people that impacted me in ways that changed the trajectory of my life, but there is one common thread throughout. The events and people that had the most impact are able to be traced back to ordinary individuals doing life, loving people, and speaking truth. My life was changed because of actions they took, not because of some big preacher. The genesis moment starts with one person… So what are you doing? What actions are you taking? What impact will you make?