This is our last week with Shane Falco and Jimmy McGinty. We watched as Shane changed. He was a boat washer who wanted to be forgotten, a man who had lost his heart. Now he is a leader and a quarterback who wanted the ball in his hands with the game on the line. This sort of transition is one I hope we all go through.
As Falco is leading his team down the field in the second half of the final game, he looks in the huddle. His teammates are exhausted and hurting from the physicality of the match. He tells them, “I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn’t be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory…lasts forever.”
I find this theme recurring in movies and real life. Early on in the film Gladiator, General Maximus spoke to his troops before a battle. As they stood in formation ready to unleash hell, he reminded them, “Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.” Each soldier would make a difference in the outcome of the battle.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, once said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” He wanted to make a difference and change the world he lived in. It was the driving purpose in everything he did.
This concept goes as far back as the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God “has set eternity in the human heart.” No matter what pain, adversity or hopeless odds we face, our hearts are drawn to things that will last. It is in our DNA.
We recognize the reality of this theme by the way our hearts resonate and respond to this call. We also find ourselves struggling with the execution of this desire. How do we make a dent in the universe? It’s great for Steve Jobs to say, he ran Apple. All I do is run my kids to school and practice. I’m no quarterback or leader of hundreds of men. What difference can I have that will last forever?
One way I have tried to align my life with eternity is to look at those things that only I can do. I mean, I do a lot of things and have many roles. Father, husband, brother, son, friend. Teacher, instructor, nurse, writer, speaker. I can easily fill my time with activities so that I am always busy. Lead a small group? Sure. Attend this meeting? No problem. Before I know it, my time is booked with activities, but I lose track of the meaning. Every time I say yes to something, I am saying no to something else.
It’s important to go back to the question: What am I doing that only I can do? I am the only man who can husband my wife. I am the only one who can father my children. I have been given gifts and abilities to succeed in my calling. Those areas should be a priority and take precedence over anything else. What does that look like? That means I have a choice to make and I ensure that the most important roles take priority and guide my decisions.
As men, we get trapped thinking we always have to do something or appear a certain way. “I have to go here and do this because it’s expected.” Just because we are expected to do something doesn’t mean it matters in eternity.
Investigate your life. Identify those things that ONLY you can do. What is your critical mission, your top priorities? Are you giving enough time and energy to those areas? It will be hard. We feel important and involved, and we wonder where we stand or what people will think if we say no.
Remember what matters. You have a role that can only be filled by you. You have a calling that only you can do. Eternity resides in your heart. Follow it.
About the Author
Paul McDonald is a writer who shares the story of God’s victory in his life at The Original PMcD. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, who have four children between them. He loves corny comedies and knows way too many movie quotes.