Yesterday was my daughter’s 16th birthday. What a time to reflect on all the years that have gone by, looking at photos, telling stories. She is now on the cusp of adulthood and soon she will be making choices that will impact her vocation in life. I look at here at want her to be happy. But I also want her to feel fulfilled in life. I want her to believe that she makes a difference in the world.
Of course, on her birthday, we all heard the news of David Bowie’s passing. He was creating up until the very end, touching people with his art. He certainly made his mark on the world. To have your art last and stand the test of time is quite a blessing.
My daughter is not David Bowie, but I know she has the potential to make a mark on the world as well. We all do. We can’t all be David Bowie’s either. It is not really true that anyone can become President of the United States or win a gold medal in the Olympics. But we all have been created with unique gifts that if cultivated and grown, can have an amazing impact on our world.
Good stewards realize it is not enough to simply accept our giftedness for what it is and then rest peacefully. Like in the Parable of the Talents, we are expected to take what we have and grow it into some thing much greater. And never buy into the lie that some people have been given no gifts. So you can’t record a song that sells a million copies? But you might be able to make a million people smile. You might be able to feed a million people over the course of your life. You might be able to wipe away about a million tears from those who suffer. You might be able to say a million prayers that bring peace to a person or a community.
I loved David Bowie’s work. I love my daughter infinitely more. When he died I thought to myself, “What a mark he made on the world.” When I die, I hope someone can say the same thing about me. Someday, I hope someone says that about my daughter too.
God is calling. May all our sons and daughters respond accordingly.