Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s how my younger Granddaughter, Ellie Kate, tries to reign me back in, when I am waxing on about something she asked or something she said, as to which I clearly missed the point she was trying to make.
“But, Gran! Gran!”
There is an urgency to her little voice which would lead an outside observer to believe—that if only I would stop listening to my own voice long enough to hear her voice—there is much on the line here, much I could learn, and much that I really need to hear.
Well, of course, Ellie Kate is usually right; and it’s always another one of those lessons for which God sent her, and her older sister, Hannah, to teach me. It always points me in a different direction and on a different path.
But it’s not always easy. Because the common course of our lives is one of familiarity and comfort and often has been dictated by the rules of the world we live in—rules to which we have become all too accustomed or resigned. We follow the usual and common paths—the ones which sometimes have led us to “successful” results before and where we anticipate finding the least number of pitfalls—and our lives take on a familiarity and predictability which, although not all bad, is not the life that God intended when He created us.
And then we tend to instill that common course into the next generation and the next—molding them into our own image, living through them the lives we wish we had lived—with little recognition of the truth that they, too, are God’s own unique creations.
And so, their journey begins to look a lot like ours. They tend to smile, or not, as we do, or don’t. They tend to react to things, positively or negatively, the way we do. They tend to see who they can become as we see that for their lives. Often the same way others saw it for ours. They tend to try to live up to what our expectations of them are, usually dictated by our journey. The templates of how we, and society in general, lived our lives are laid upon theirs—and too often they simply follow wherever the path we set out in front of them leads. It happened to us, and so, instead of taking a different path, we too often follow the one laid before us and simply pass it along to the next generation and the next.
It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.
Yet it’s a common occurrence and malady in our society, too often resulting in reaching the end of our own journey leaving a legacy marked by never having reached our full God-given potential. And with our influence on the next generation—you guessed it—the end result of their journey is all too often the same.
That’s not the way God intended it to be.
No matter our age— whether 6, 16, 60 or 106—our lives, and the rest of our lives, were not intended to be common. We were not created by the God of the universe to follow the path that the world lays before us. We were not created by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to go through each day powerless, passionless, falling asleep then waking up, and doing it all over again the next day until we take our last breath.
We were meant to live uncommon lives of significance. Lives like no one else, because by His design we are like no one else. We were meant to follow Him where there is no path and blaze the trail which only our lives can blaze. We were meant to live lives of impact with and through Him—for ourselves and for others.
I can almost hear that gentle whisper of the voice of God screaming down from above…
“Scott! Scott! Not that way! Scott—this way—follow Me!”
It’s my choice to listen or not. It’s my choice and yours to lead the common lives that the world lays before us, or the uncommon lives which God intended for us to lead. It’s our choice—no matter our age, where we find ourselves today, or where we have been before. And it’s our responsibility to the next generation of lives we will mold—one way or the other—to help God make them uncommon.
The path seems to be clear: live the uncommon life—the life of impact and significance that God intended when He created you and only you, and leave a trail that only you can leave—the legacy of impact and significance that God intended when He created you.
I’m listening, sweetie. I’m listening. Thank you Lord!
In His Name—Scott
P.S. By the way—the new book written by Tony Dungy and our Son, Nathan, has just become available. The title is “Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance.” You can find it at your local bookstore, or read more about it, and order your copy, online at www.coachdungy.com