Updated: Oct 31, 2019
An individualistic culture like ours breeds a notion that everything we do is for us.
If I have a dream, it’s to fulfill me.
If I get rich, it’s so I can have it all.
If I create a vision, it’s for my life.
No one else—except perhaps a few significant others around you—really matters much to your plans.
That seems to me like a culturally supported form of narcissism.
A recent foray into Bible reading added a new dimension to how seriously off base we are to believe that whatever we do—including doing Different—is only about right now.
Genesis 12 and following tells of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham and his call from God to move to a foreign land. He’s told that he will become a father of a great nation. By the end of Abraham’s life, though, he had exactly one son designated to be the person through whom this special nation would be generated. Hardly the numerous-as-stars-in-the-sky he’d been promised.
Abraham may have had a difficult time imagining a whole nation of physical descendants, but a much later biblical writer expanded the Abraham legacy to even more unimaginable proportions. The Apostle Paul explained that Abraham’s faith made him the father of all those who believed like him, and that number is astronomically larger than his physical descendants.
Both legacies, though, began with Abraham’s willingness to do life differently than he had been doing. He accepted that there was a purpose for his move to a new place, and the result was a legacy he could not have imagined.
So, let me point out that what you do with your life is not just for you.
In fact, it’s likely you cannot now—and may never—grasp the impact you will have simply by doing Different.
Your choice to follow a sense of purpose has ramifications far beyond your life over the next 20, 40, 60, or however many years you have left on planet earth. Your purpose has meaning for the generations ahead.
A lot of folks to come are depending on you to make the right moves, however bold or challenging they may be.
Don't let them down.
Recognize the generational significance of what you do. Your dreams aren’t just for you, and they aren't just for now.