Your Debris Field

In June 2011 I went with a church group to Oneonta, Alabama. In April, just two months before, a massive tornado system decimated homes and lives throughout north central Alabama. Our goal was to frame up a house in one week and we did, even though it was the hottest June they’d had in years. One afternoon I walked downwind from the house into the debris field. Pine trees were snapped or bent over and hardwoods were uprooted. And all over the place was the debris of a family’s lives: pictures, shoes, a baby blanket, papers, parts of a trailer, a dish rack, sofa cushions, and thousands of bits of a home and house. It was terrifying to see what the wind could do in a matter of minutes and I can’t imagine what it was like to live through it.

I’ve lived long enough to be able to look back and see what I have done in my life. I have hundreds of friends literally around the world; I’ve traveled to dozens of countries; learned millions of facts (too many of which I share without invitation); and have a beautiful family. In essence, I can see the good and bad of what I’ve left in my own personal debris field. I know I’ve left some hurt along the way; I want to believe that whenever I’ve plowed through someone, that I’ve taken the time to return and seek forgiveness. I’ve probably not been as successful in that as I think I have. I do know that I’ve hope I’ve left some joy back there, too. I prefer to reflect on that part of my debris field – where I’ve helped and not hurt.

As you go through life, pause long enough to look at your own debris field. What is littered in your wake? Are there torn up lives and people who are hurting more because you passed by? Do you see people who remember you fondly and joyfully? We can’t have a positive impact with every person every day, but there should be an abundance of positive results after you’ve passed by so that people will say you enriched their lives. Aim for good things to be the legacy seen in your debris field.

Lead On!