I’m turning 40 this year. Seems pretty huge. The Psalmist reminds us that our lifespan is between 70 and 80 years, depending on our strength (Ps. 90:10).
Just this morning my wife informed me that a relative of hers passed away from cancer. His prognosis was only known in the last two months. Life is short! But rather than expounding on the brevity of life I’d rather probe this idea of significance while we are alive. What does it mean to achieve true significance during our short time on the planet?
A few days ago my children told me about a YouTube flick that has gone viral. Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video is quickly approaching 70 million hits and has now been rated as the worst song ever. Intrigued, I watched an ABC newscast that detailed the hatred and cyber bullying against Miss Black. I wondered why. Perhaps it has to do with a distorted view of significance.
Are people upset with Rebecca merely over the fact that her voice isn’t that great? Or are they rather upset that they haven’t achieved similar popularity? Given the current cultural obsession with reality shows and “American Idol” I further pondered the depth of current human pursuits. People are clamoring for significance. We hear stories of ordinary people—in some cases with mediocre talent—achieving phenomenal popularity. But is significance merely a sum of our talents or good looks?
In the ABC interview, Rebecca stated that it would “make her life” if Justin Bieber would sing a duet with her. After all, she is now a pop star. For Rebecca, hanging out with famous people and being popular is achieving significance. And ditto for many others. But is that really achieving true significance?
I personally believe that significance is not found in serving ourselves but in serving others. It’s found in what we give away—how we leave this world a better place because we were here.
Several months ago I heard Scott Harrison’s story. It both captivated and motivated me. Changed from self-serving to missional; Scott is now raising millions of dollars to bring the water of life to a billion people on the planet who don’t have access to safe, clean, drinking water. Consider the fact that 4500 children die each day from diseases caused by a lack of safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Or that 2.2 million die each year from illnesses caused by drinking contaminated water. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each day!
So here’s what I’m doing. I’m donating my 40th birthday to Charity Water. I’m also being audacious and setting a goal of $40,000. In the next three months I’m hoping to get 1000 people crazy enough over my 40th birthday that they’ll each donate $40! Or 2000 people each giving $20! Will you join the campaign? We can impact the lives of thousands…we can make a difference together…we can achieve significance! Click here and donate $40 or $20 to Charity Water on behalf of my 40th birthday. I dare you to be significant!