I had no idea what to expect when I boarded a plane to Athens with Edmund in March. What transpired has left me thinking about how big this world is.
How amazing people are.
How often I sell people short in my thoughts.
How creating the visions in a mind can impact the world.
After visiting ancient sites—the Acropolis, the Olympic stadium where Greek Olympians trained and competed, the meticulous artwork of St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, smaller churches, the Pantheon, and Flavius’ amphitheater (a,k.a. The Colosseum), I’m humbled.
In today’s world where almost everything is as close as our fingertips, the time, the intentional investment of energy, talent, and devotion that the creators poured into their projects made me feel small.
That wasn’t the intention of the creators of all the places we visited. They influenced the people of their time. Their determination to complete their projects is something we don’t always see today. The years invested to build and create are not required with all our technology. And sometimes, I wonder if we have lost something.
Even though I hate the sole purpose of why the Colosseum was built, the builder had it completed in eight years. and it’s . . . Amazing. The seats, the stadium, the beauty of the place, how it’s endured through centuries and weather and earthquakes are rather amazing.
I’m in awe of how God gives each human being the capacity to be creative, to influence their world . . . in big or small ways. He’s made us in His image, and that includes expressing our view of the world as we know it.
Michelangelo and his vision of bringing certain Biblical scenes to life on one wall and the ceiling of the Sistine chapel left me breathless. His vibrant paintings elicit deep emotion. He didn’t see life through sterile glasses, but through passion.
The Greek amphitheater in Epidaurus was created in such a way that one can stand in the center of stage, speak without a microphone and be heard to the very top of the open-air theater. And none of this was done with modern technology. Hewn rock makes up the seats, and the arches and columns give it a regal appearance. World-renowned performers still perform there today.
The ruins of Pompeii reveal how brilliant the people of that time were. Cobblestone streets, elegant bathhouses, shops, a sports field, the beauty of the columns, the etchings on walls, and even the unique designs within in the homes demonstrate people acting within the creativity that reflects their Maker.
The thought that caused me to pause was that those who built the Acropolis, the temple of Nike, the Parthenon, The Pantheon, and so many other masterpieces didn’t build them for God’s glory. Even though it was He who gifted them with the vision and ability to coax that vision into reality.
He didn’t throw a fit and yank back the gift. The Lord allowed them to operate within the abilities, even though they used it for human motives. These masterpieces still reflect His creativity today, leaving thousands of visitors in awe.
How do we reflect God’s imprint in our DNA? Do we use the unique gifting He’s planted within each of us? Do we live each day reflecting His essence? I write. Others paint. Others knit. Others draw up blueprints for buildings. Others use numbers.
We each have the capacity to influence our world. Whether “our world” encompasses our neighborhood, our families, our city, or even broader borders. The question is, will we use what God has given us to leave an enduring mark on those whose paths we cross?
Will we be brave enough to step outside our familiar circle and create? Maybe what we do won’t endure in a physical sense like the Colosseum or the Sistine Chapel or the ruins of Pompeii. But maybe the way we express ourselves will impact another life in an eternal way.
It’s not about the numbers of people, but about how we use what God has given us that matters.
So, what are you going to do to influence your world?
What about you? What wonders of the world have moved you? How do you influence your world?
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