I have heard so much about the ripple effect, how what we do has impacts that we could never imagine. Well, how about what we do impacts so many people, and people that we will never meet, or know about?
A friend of mine passed away and we thought about what he did and who we had to coordinate with for his memorial. He served in the Navy, retired after serving in a fire department for 25 years, retired from being an instructor at the local fire academy for 25-30 years, he was a life member of a firefighter’s motorcycle club, a founding member of an ambulance corp., he served on a CISM team, he worked with AA and also with his local church. When you think of it, just belonging to one organization impacts many people.
My friend had to have taught thousands of firefighters and developed friendships with so many of them. Those firefighters may have taught other firefighters, taught fire prevention to people including children, saved lives through EMS or pulled people out of buildings. Through a fire instructor, just teaching one class can have an immense impact that they will never know.
How many people are alive because someone responded as an EMT? If that person died in a car crash, from a gunshot, or of a medical issue, how many people would not have been born because the family’s blood line could have ended there?
We do not really realize the impact of our words or actions. In the Bible, because of the life that Abraham lived, he was told that he would have more children than the stars in the sky. Or how about Joseph? He was sold as a slave by his brothers, BUT later he ended up saving Egypt from a great famine.
Jesus only did ministry for three years on Earth, but how many people today are following his teachings from 2,017 years ago?
How many people are you going to impact? Who can you inspire, just by speaking words of encouragement to them? What lessons can people learn from you? My friend taught that you need at least four hugs a day to continue a happy and healthy life. He also taught that it is alright to cry. “It is through our tears that we are able to go on. You cannot have a rainbow without the rain and you need the tears to help you heal.”
Just one of us can help and effect so many. We throw one stone into the pond of life and the ripple of our existence will propel lives, like a wave effecting a boat. The words that we speak can put wind into someone’s sails and keep them moving on. The love that we share, in our service to our neighbor and fellow man, can impact a family, community, country.
Thank you for being in our lives. You have helped so many people and touched so many people's lives. You were there for me as I was laying on my deathbed. You loved your family and friends. You served as an instructor and took care of so many. Now you have been called home by our Heavenly Chief. You have reported for your new assignment, working in the heavenly station as our guardian. You have been told “Well done good and faithful servant”. We will see you again someday.
May the LORD bless you and keep you; May the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; May the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace and until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.
Stay safe, Brother