Everyone wants to be known. We all want to be remembered. It might be in different ways depending on our character, but when all is said and done, we want a certain image to be kept of us when someone else thinks about us.
People make quick connections all the time. You hear the name “Michael Jordan” and you think “greatest basketball player to ever put on an NBA jersey.” J.J. Reddick brings thoughts of “pure shooter who doesn’t really do anything else, and therefore will only be a 6th man, at best, in the NBA.” Ghandi and the words “non-violence” are almost synonymous. These people all built up a certain reputation that, regardless of other things that have occurred in their lives, these things will constantly be the staple that people remember.
As I come up on my last moments at U of I, this same thought process comes to me. I’ve interacted with so many different people in so many different ways. And I ask myself, 50 years down the line, if for some reason someone thinks back upon college and comes across a memory of me, what would they think of? I want to be someone who made an impact, someone who really was purposeful in their lives. And I don’t want other characteristics or actions of mine to outshine my ultimate purpose.
David was an interesting character. He was an adulterer, and king, a murderer, a complainer, a whiner. The Psalms are filled with him going back and forth praising God in one chapter, and then complaining to God about the problems he is facing. But even with all of these character flaws, whenever I hear the name David I think, “Man after God’s own heart.” That truly was what he was. In everything he did, he was chasing God, and the whole world saw it. He never feared man, only God. He chose to follow and serve God to the fullest of his capacity.
Reflecting on my life, I wonder how long you’d have to be in a conversation with someone talking about me before they start describing my love for Christ. I feel like people will bring up more a sarcastic tongue, a helpful attitude, a voice of ultimate encouragement, being one of the nicest people they’ve ever met (it’s true, just think about it), and whole lot of other characteristics that define me as a person. And it’s sad, because that just shows how much I’ve drawn the attention of my life onto myself, instead of reflecting it to Christ. One of the worst signposts, ever.
The only thing I can do is continue to strive to live like Christ. By the grace of God, He’ll allow people to see Christ in me. I don’t want my name to be remembered. I don’t want my actions to be regarded as great. I don’t want to leave my own legacy. When people think of me, the first thing I want them to say is simply “That man loved Jesus.” My true identity is a child of God…everything else is just details.