You know, I will soon be 36 years old and that isn't all that far from 40! Yikes! In two years, it will be my 20 year class reunion. I was kind of feeling sorry for myself the other day - feeling like a failure. I mean, I hadn't written, nevermind published my book yet. My dreams of being a speaker for women haven't materialized either. Sure, I teach students, but many days, I feel like they may know LESS after class than they knew beforehand. Really, how many lives do you change with past participles anyway?
I've always had this burning desire to make a mark on my world, to somehow help people and be remembered after I am gone. And quite frankly, I dont' seem to be getting anywhere fast. I was praying about it and sort of complaining to God. (yes, I have a tendency to whine sometimes).
God reminded me of one of the people in the Hall of Faith. You know that passage in Hebrews 11 that lists all the people who showed great faith. Greats like Moses, Abraham, Noah and many others are in there with lists of things they did after their names. Great people like Rahab who believed and helped the spies. Her story reads like a Biblical version of the tv show 24. Now that's exciting. Or how about Moses? First, he was smuggled out of his house and floated down the Nile with the big crocs and the Princess of Egypt adopted him. He killed an Egyptian and went on the run. Then he led the children of Israel for 40 years AND he wrote the first five books of the Bible. It's obvious he made an indelible mark on history and the Christian faith. I could go on about almost everyone in that chapter, listing the great feats they did.
Buried within that passage though, in verse 5, Enoch is listed. It says, "It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying - he disappeared because God took him. For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who walked with God." Right after this verse comes one of the most well known verses on faith in the Bible, "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." Enoch didn't do anything but walk with God. What if the only thing my gravestone said was Bronte - she walked with God? Would that be enough? That's what God asked me - is pleasing me with your faith enough? Am I enough of a reward for you?
Hmm, let me think - the God of the universe or earthly remembrance? I'm going to have to go with the God of the universe. What a humbling question and a sharp reminder of my priorities and motivations. I may never have a book published or be known beyond my own circle of friends and family, but if the God of the universe can look at me, at the end of my life and say, She walked with me and her faith pleased me - what else is there? What else can I ask for? When I get to heaven's shores, the music that will be sweetest to my ears is to hear my Father say, "Well done, you good and faithful servant."