What an awesome day! I got to spend my whole day off with Hannah! While she had her difficult and grumpy moments (don’t we all?) we had a lot of fun. As I watched her I was reminded of something that I have often thought I would blog about. She is so funny as she tries to figure things out. She will try something – hitting it, putting it in her mouth, or something else. Sometimes she will figure out that her actions cause a reaction, like a light or a sound or a laugh. She will look pleased with herself, and then promptly do it again. She is so excited when she makes something happen.

Observing this makes me think about how we all want to make an impact on the world around us. We want to make a difference in our environment. We want others to respond to us and to be an influence. It seems that some people assume that they are more influential than they truly are and that the world revolves around them. They often end up being frustrated much of the time because people don’t respond to them the way they expect. Conversely, other people feel insignificant and unimportant, and therefore miss opportunities to make an impact. They contribute to frustration or disappointment on the part of others who are in need of the particular talents that they possess.

I guess a third group are those who recognize their talents and are working to make a difference, but are thwarted by those in the first two groups. How many times can a person attempt something with no response before they give up and go on to something else? There is something to be said for persistence, but at some point it becomes insanity. How many times do you push a button with no response before you quit pushing the button? At some point don’t you figure that pushing that button is just a waste of time and move on to try to make something happen elsewhere?

Jesus seemed to understand this. He told the disciples to go throughout the land and tell about what they had seen and heard. But He knew that not everyone would listen, so He told them to shake the dust off of their feet and leave. Jesus Himself spent most of His time with the “sinners” who listened to Him and allowed His word to make a difference in their lives rather than trying to preach to the Pharisees and other “religious” leaders who were set in their ways. Actually, now that I think about it, if they had been receptive then the message may not have ever been preached to the Gentiles. The hard-heartedness of one group allows for the message to spread to those who are ready for it.

So I guess my encouragement, mostly to myself, is to keep working to make a difference. God promises to give us His Spirit to guide us to make an impact as we spread His word, and He will lead us to those places where we can make a difference. I pray that I can be one who is confident in God and the talents that He has given me, using them to make an impact for Him.