One Hundred—Good luck with the List

One Hundred—Good luck with the List

Sit down one day and write a list, in no particular order, of the 100 people who have had the greatest impact on your life. Assuming you have done it, despite the mental and emotional challenges it entails, try to list them from ‘Most influential’ to ‘Least influential.’ Personally, when including both negative and positive influences, I’m unhappy to see who I have allowed to creep up my list—despite my best efforts to minimize their impact. But realistically, from a 30,000 feet view, you will probably put the best of souls in the top places – those you are most comfortable with. The first few dozen places on my list are occupied by Jesus, my wife, my kids, my parents and family members, long-term spiritual mentors and various brethren. In fact, my list is full of my brethren—no surprises there. But I am especially interested in two groups. The first being people I’d rather forget. People who have wilfully set out to wreck that which I hold nearest and dearest to my heart. The old preachers used to say, ‘Nobody’s useless, they can always serve as a bad example.’ That is true, but it doesn’t help. What does help is to realise that I am probably on someone else’s list of ‘wreckers,’ and that I might want to remember that. The second group is a long list of strangers. People I’ve met along the way who have brought the best out of me. Their timely words of kindness inspired me to greater faith in Jesus and a greater love for his Kingdom. In all of these momentary meetings I see in their faces the rich providence of God. So,…you see, at this point my list falls apart. God works at too many levels. And, face it, how many times has life-experience finally revealed the depth of impact that a certain word or action has had upon your life? God works like that! Good luck with the list.

johnstaiger1@gmail.com

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