IfeOluwa Nihinlola once wrote a story about a guy who was in a dilemma on what to buy for his girlfriend. She had stylishly made it clear that she was tired of his usual practice of buying her a book and he knew he had to do something different. After several minutes in a boutique with the uphill task of staying within his budget and getting her something more than a book, the young man ended up on the way to a bookshop. (See the story here.)
I am one of those people whose first and sometimes only option of what to buy for a friend celebrating his/her birthday is a book. I may give you something more, but you’ll surely get a book. I also appreciate books as gifts for my birthday. So, when my brother, Adeyemi Adebimpe gave me a book for my birthday, it was a good thing. After reading the book, it became more than good. The book is Stu Weber’s Infinite Impact.
What I want to share in this piece is based on the understanding I have gotten from the book about life as God intends it and the brevity of life. Perhaps the biggest truth I discovered through the book is that buried over two thousand years ago in the pages of the Scripture.
“From one man he created all races of mankind and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live.” Acts 17:26 TEV
Scriptures say God already appointed a time for you to live on earth and make impact. Like Stu Weber notes, “The Bible’s teaching about God’s sovereignty has some tremendous- and very personal- implications for us.” You are not here at this time by accident. You are here because this is God’s appointed time for you to be here. You are here by God’s appointment. You are not an accident.
In between your birth and your death is a period of time- Your Timeline. It is God’s appointed time for you to make impact and bless your generation. I don’t know when my time will be up. You don’t too. All that we have is our timeline. Since all that we have is today, we have to make it count. You have to make your timeline count not just for now, but forever!
How can you maximize your timeline? How can you make impacts in time that will remain relevant in eternity? Here are a few thoughts.
1. Connect to Your History
Philip Yancey in his book, The Bible Jesus Read discusses the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy and notes that the most important word in that book is “Remember.” The people of Israel were constantly and consistently enjoined by Moses to remember and stay connected to their history, for in it laid their origin and collective sense of purpose. Remembering, Stu Weber notes implies thinking, reflecting and acting. To make our timeline count, we must never lose touch of history. We must remain connected to our Origin. Paraphrasing Soren Kierkgaard, Weber declares that though life must be lived forward, it can only be understood backward!
In Nigeria, where history is no longer taught in our schools, I am afraid for future of our dear country. The long timeline behind us can become a lifeline for our purpose pursuits!
2. Discover your purpose
The fact that you are here on God’s appointment presupposes that you must be here for a purpose. Your timeline begins to matter when you find out why you are here and you begin to pursue to that purpose.
“By God’s intention, each one of us is utterly unique and called to a special purpose at a specific time in God’s sovereign design.” Stu Weber, Infinite Impact.
3. Celebrate landmarks
As we journey through life, certain circumstances and experiences would mark our timelines. We must learn to celebrate those landmarks. They determine how we see life and define what we regard as important. God marks the time in human history when He solved the problem of sin with the cross. We must learn to put markers on our timelines.
4. Die Empty!
Understanding, releasing and maximizing your potentials are crucial to making your timeline count. You have to make a decision to live envied and leave emptied. We must decide not to hold back anything from our generation. You have to make dying empty your life goal and let maximizing your potentials be your motivation for living.
Life is brief. We don’t know for how long we will be here. What we do and say in our appointed moments on the timeline of history matters. Discover today your role in God’s global plan. Determine today to use your life to make impact. Choose to maximise your timeline!