Impact Vs. Splash
You know those friends that you can talk with for 5 minutes for a very quick catch-up and walk away feeling like it’s a whole new day with lots of possibilities? Deborah from DG Photograhy is one of those people in my life. I’m lucky enough to have her as family, too, since she’s hubby’s youngest sister. She lives life with a wide open heart and blesses those around her with her love for life and people. She wrote this post. I hope you are as encouraged and challenged by it as I was.
I saw a quote about impact yesterday. Impact is an interesting concept. Impact has nothing to do with splash. We all love a good splash. Splash is fun and glamorous. Splash is all the fun of risking the jump, and landing with great hoopla in something that gives and splatters and is disturbed and greatly moved by our arrival.
And, boy, do we like that. We like when people notice that we have arrived, ya’ll.
Thing about splash is that for something to splash it needs to be movable, liquid, and flexible in the first place. After our initial, sensational arrival, what we landed in returns to its natural state. Nothing has really changed. We’ve just become a part of what already exists.
Impact on the other hand makes little to no splash. It isn’t welcomed. It isn’t even fun to think about. When I think about impact, I think about collision. I think about one object hitting another object, and nothing about the collision of these two things is something anybody really likes to witness, at least in real life. Impact creates change, usually in both of the objects that experienced the collision. This matters.
We live in a culture that is constantly splashing, and we call it impact. Like kids at a pool who crave attention, we’re constantly on the jump, perfecting our cannonballs, and when someone makes a big splash we ooh, ahh, and clap, but nothing has really changed.
Meanwhile, there are the actual doers. The ones who put hands and feet and action to loving people, the ones who aren’t chatting on social media about their next big idea. They’re living their next big idea. They aren’t preoccupied with whether or not they’re making a splash because impact is hard and good and it takes the wind out of them so they’re busy being alive.
I’m going to take a hard right here on the subject matter. I used to read the kind of material I just wrote above and feel so shamed and guilty. It felt like the nail in my not-doing-enough coffin.
Hear this: DO LESS. BE MORE. Get quiet before God. Listen for His heartbeat until you can feel it. His heart beats for humanity. We think to make an impact we need to be frenetically rushing about doing. Wrong. Just wrong. We need to be doing the thing that God has called us to. No more and no less. Guilt-driven doing does not impact. We have to be willing to get quiet if we want to hear His heart. We have to be willing to stay quiet so we don’t lose His heartbeat. Living in sync with the beat of His heart is our aim, and it will change the world. It will open our glazed-over eyes to the people around us. There is a beauty in seeing one heart. Jesus sees and always will, the one out of the ninety-nine. I love this about Him because it means I’ll always be small and significant in His hands. Sometimes I think we use this parable as an excuse for being small people. We are called to impact more than we can imagine with the humility and confidence that comes from knowing we’ve heard His heart. When we truly hear His heart, it begins to do this work of separation in us. It separates our fear and selfishness from what God is growing in us. It propels us to action. It requires us to move outside of our fear, not to prove we aren’t afraid, but because we’ve seen too much of how He loves people, and action becomes our only recourse. As we steward His heartbeat, we’ll feel it more strongly, and when it becomes fainter we’ll notice, and sometimes that just means He’s drawing us to a new place, and we haven’t caught on that He’s mapping a new way. So we play a bit of Marco Polo with Him and if we relax, it’s actually really fun, because unlike the game, He wants to be found.
So here’s an action step for you. Get quiet for two minutes or two hours or two months or two years. Listen and wait and ask Him to show you His heart. When He does, and He will because He loves sharing His heart, you’ll know what to do. You won’t have this perfect map or clearly defined path to a splashy existence. What you will have is one small step you can take. This is where faith comes in. Take the step. And then listen for God’s heartbeat some more, and you’ll see another step to take. And as you listen for His heartbeat your life, it starts to be your roadmap because it’s become the loudest thing in your consciousness.
I think God is inviting us to be a generation that gets His heart. If we know His heart it can be our map for life if we let it. He gave us a will and the ability to think and make decisions for a reason. He wanted us to know Him, and live accordingly. Let’s not live like lost people without a Map who talk about how great it is to be saved. Let’s get quiet and let God whisper His heart to us, and we’ll watch as the Map of Who He Is begins to form in bits and pieces before our eyes. What we do will matter, and the impact we have here will register as a splash in Heaven. And that’s something.
*Please hear me: wanting to make a splash is a very human and normal thing to want. Know this, Jesus has a pool and He will go swimming with you and you can splash and thrash and He is so delighted with you. You have His full attention, so who really needs the attention of the masses when you have the attention of One? I know. I get it. I buy the lie, too. But it is a lie. So we can’t afford to let it park in our heads. Receive the truth that He sees you fully. He understands you. You aren’t too much. You are enough.