Carroll Marr is the senior pastor of Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. "I don't really want to bore you with the facts about me. I'm just a normal guy. A pastor. A husband. A Dad. A wannabe Granddad. If you'd like more information about all things Carroll, well just read on."
I feel that I must give you some insight into the purpose of this blog. Actually, I am not sure of its purpose but can tell you what you might expect. I will use this space to chat about things that I observe, think, experience, or otherwise encounter. To me, a blog is an opportunity to openly dialogue and stimulate thinking. I will not always answer questions raised; in fact, at times, I will raise them and challenge you to answer. I will always, I think, leave the topic incomplete. That, to me, is the nature of a blog. If I complete the topic it should be a book and not a blog. Sometimes the thoughts will be fun sometimes serious. I do not intend to give you a daily devotional though I would be happy to recommend a couple. My hope is to inspire at times, encourage at others, entertain at others and occasionally make you think a little. We will see if I accomplish any of the above.
This morning as I was driving to an early appointment, I heard a D. J. from a local Christian Radio station talking about the death of Michael Smith. Immediately, I thought about Michael W. Smith, the popular Christian artist. Because I was listening to a Christian radio station it was not a stretch to think that way. I admit, I did not hear all the conversation but did hear that name and the description of a young man who died unexpectedly in his sleep. I immediately thought, wow that is so sad. In fact, I texted my Tanya to let her know and her immediate call back indicated that her reaction was the same as mine. What happened? How sad, what a waste, thoughts like these went through my mind. When I got to work later that morning I went to the internet to get the story and discovered there was no story. No website made mention of this untimely event. Finally, I called the church that was mentioned on the radio and asked about the story. It was then I that I discovered Michael Smith had died but it was not the Michael W. Smith that I had thought of.
I did not know this Michael Smith, so my feelings were different – if honest indifferent, and that began to bother me. Why would I react differently to the news of this untimely death than to the guy who I knew (that I really did not know)? Is Michael W. Smith more valuable than Michael Smith? Is one more important than the other? The obvious answer is no. All life is valuable. In fact, not one is more valuable than another. All life is precious. You see, the value of life is not determined by what one does or what one possesses, the value of life is determined by the price paid. Worth is determined by what one is willing to pay for an item. And God has paid the same enormous price for us all. Every human on the globe has value ascribed by God. A value so great, that He would be willing to pay a price that required He leave the Glory and Splendor of Heaven to live and die for our sins.
So, why is it that I seem to be more concerned with one Michael over another? It is not their value, it is their impact. We all have the same value but we are each unique in our impact. Those most impacted by our life on earth are the ones most impacted by our death. Some folks have a circle of impact beyond their personal realm of friendship and that impact allows us to feel touched by their death. That is why, when Princess Diana died, thousands of people felt a terrible sense of loss. It is for this reason that Michael Jackson’s death affected so many in a personal way. One was not more valuable than the other, but their level of impact made a difference.
To me, the morning news came as a reminder that all people are infinitely valuable and deserve to treated as such. It was a reminder that we each have a circle of impact. We make a difference. There is an ole Yiddish proverb that says it well; When you were born you cried and others rejoiced, live in such a way that when you die others cry and you rejoice.
Do you treat others as if they are infinitely valuable? Are you living your life in such a way that the impact you make is God-honoring?