How Far You’ll Go

4-25-15 

Influence is a funny thing. You can’t see it or hold it, but it builds you into the person you are. For better or worse, everyone we meet and every event in our lives can influence us, sometimes minutely, and sometimes altering our futures.

Recently someone I was very close to passed away. My grandfather was an amazing person for a lot of reasons, and having him in my life had a big impact on where I am today. When I was little he had a stroke, and I remember watching the physical therapists working with him to help him walk again. I “helped” too by counting for him when he did his exercises. Years passed, and it was time for growing up me to decide what I wanted to be. The condensed version of that story is that I had planned on pursuing a different career, but one afternoon in a physical therapy clinic convinced me I was going to be a PT.

During the last couple weeks when we became more and more sure that we wouldn’t have Popaw here much longer, and immediately after he passed, it was incredibly poignant doing the work I have pursued for years. I was working to help other people walk so that they could go back to or stay at home with their families. Patients and I talked about goals of gardening and housework again. And it was partly because of a soft spoken gentleman with intelligent blue eyes.

There are many other things my grandfather did that have influenced people. He was a veteran and kept an American flag waving on the carport for years. He was a Christian. Not until after he passed did my family and I hear the story of how he helped a neighbor find his way to following God. It’s comforting to think that the life he lived made a difference in this world.

My popaw isn’t gone; he’s waiting for me and my family until we have the biggest reunion of all. In the meantime I get to, in my own way, keep sharing his influence. Most of the people I work with will probably never hear the story of how I decided to be a physical therapist, but with God’s help, they will benefit from it.

If we are living for God, then the influence we share will be good, and it can’t be contained. Matthew 5:14 and 16 say, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Every day we have the opportunity to touch people. Some interactions will have more lasting effects than others, and there is no way to know which ones those will be. Let’s never take a minute for granted. Touch the lives around you, and let yourself be positively impacted by them.

May the Lord bless and keep you,

Heather

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2 Comments

  1. This was beautiful, Heather. Reminded me of my own blue-eyed influencers – my papaw and grandpa.

    Now that I think back, my papaw was quite the storyteller — maybe that's where I get it. 😉

    Love you, my dear sweet friend. Sending you hugs from too far away.

    Like

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