Leave your Mark

My 19-year old son, Jake, is currently working at a summer camp. He sent me the following text yesterday: I saw my camper writing a letter today. It said, “I haven’t met any friends yet except my one counselor Jake.” It made me so happy.

Jake has learned a lesson that unfortunately took me years to fully grasp. Every person alive wants to be successful. However, there is a much higher calling deep within each of us. We desire to leave our unique imprint on the world, and more importantly people. Worldly treasures obtained, pale in comparison to the glow created by the knowledge that we have had a positive effect on individuals we meet and places we travel. Significance, not simply success, fills our souls with a deeper understanding of our true identities.

Internal struggle can often occur when we allow failure, doubt, or resistance to thwart our forward progress. We have a plan in our head of how the journey must unfold. I have remained stuck for decades as I cried out, “this is not how it was supposed to be.” My victim mentality prevented me from serving others, and being a part of a larger meaningful purpose, simply because I did not like what was happening around me.

My Dad might not have been successful in defeating cancer, but he was significant in the battle. My youngest son Grant lacked the ability to heal his traumatic brain injury, but he brightens the day of every single person that he meets with his magnetic spirit. Jake certainly will not interact with all of the campers participating in each session, but the ones that are assigned to him will receive his friendship. My loved ones show me, how despite difficult circumstances, we can be used in a mighty way.

Maya Angelou once wrote, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” Perhaps the success you are craving is solely based on who you are, not how you perform. You have some skill, knowledge, passion, or talent that someone desperately needs. Make a difference in the lives of others, leave your mark, and create a lasting legacy.