I’ve been thinking of legacy as of late. Serving a purpose that goes beyond the here and now. Have you considered a person’s impact in light of the age of the universe?
A Human Life In Light of the World’s History
Humans, compared to the age of the earth, just got here. If it was within a 24 hour period, we arrived at the most 2 minutes and 17 seconds ago. We ‘feel recent’, but can’t imagine a time before recorded history.
In the two and a quarter minutes, can one person make an impact? One that will affect the world? Or just the people, and for how long?
Is it through their influence on another? Did you know Socrates taught Plato, who taught Aristotle, and Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great?
Individuals can leave a mark on the social landscape for thousands of years. Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Confucious, Muhammad. The Founding Fathers of America’s influence has been rippling for hundreds of years. Consider the philosophers that shaped thought, the scientists that made discoveries that have reverberated through the ages, and the artists and musicians that connected the mind and heart.
The number of people who have ever been born is estimated to be 107,602,707,791 (107.6 billion people). Only 6.5% are alive today. Stop and reflect on that ratio.
None of them—save one—could do anything about the weather, geology, life, etc. A big enough rock from space, a lightning bolt, or flood, and it’s over with, no matter how smart you are. Then there is the astronomical scale to consider.
The human impact can’t even be considered relevant overall. It doesn’t even rank on a naturalistic scale. Only an eternal impact matters, that transcends all of that. The personal impact you have is important, shaping the future of someone, but not their eternity.
In the Christian worldview, only one man has affected universal and eternal change—Jesus Christ. Creator and Sustainer of the universe, shaper of thought, savior of mankind, and restorer of Creation. The way to affect eternal impact for the rest of us is to lead others to the one who is eternal and let Jesus do the rest.