You may have anywhere from a few seconds to a lifetime to influence the people in your life. There are people whose lives will intersect with yours momentarily, and you have a split second to smile and brighten up their day in some small way. It might be the cashier at the grocery store, the man you pass as you walk through the parking lot, the teenage girl at the drive-through window, the person sitting the next cubicle over, or the woman working in the toll booth. You may see this person again or this may be your only opportunity to influence them.
You may be into social media, or you may want very little to do with it. You might have one follower or 50,000. You may have a large circle of people in your life, or you may not. You might be an extrovert, or be like me and be an introvert. Whatever your life looks like, remember that you have a circle of influence. You have the opportunity every single day to make a positive impact in someone’s life. Every time your life, and my life, intersects with someone else’s life, we have a choice to make. Are we going to take the opportunity or miss it?
You and I not only have purpose; we also have influence. We can positively impact the lives of the people around us as we let the love of Jesus pour out of us in all of our interactions.
I’ve been challenged lately to not waste my influence. I don’t want to wait until I have a public platform or lots of people in the circle of my life. I want to influence well the few that are in my life. I want to be there for my co-workers. I want the students I interact with at work to know that I care. I want to do my part in turning a frustrating situation around. Through every interaction I have, I want people to see Jesus in me.
I don’t always succeed at this. Sometimes it’s so, so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. I rush through the store and fail to see that the woman next to me is hungry for conversation. I’m tired and forget to pray for my friend who desperately needs Jesus to show up in her challenging circumstances. I’m focused on my own needs that I miss out on a heart-to-heart conversation with someone who just needs to know that somebody cares. But I don’t want to waste my influence, so I’m learning and growing – striving to influence well.
I want to see people, reach out in love and compassion, and be a light for Jesus everywhere I go. I want to be present, fully engaged, and live in the moment. I want to influence well right here, right now in every way I can. How do I do this? I remind myself to slow down, take a breath, open my eyes, and find some small way to encourage, inspire, and love well.