In-flu-ence* – [IN-floo-uhns] – verb – To quietly affect the nature, development, or condition of a person or course of events in a way that operates without any direct or apparent effort, to MODIFY.
To have world-changing influence, we must be intentional.
She was not quite 2 when they took her in from the foster agency. Her mom had a lot of struggles and could barely take care of herself, much less a toddler. Her new foster family fell in love with her immediately, enjoying her laughter and the silly tricks that she would do, but especially the brief moments at bedtime when she would sit on one of their laps and snuggle. Over time, both she and her biologic mom achieved milestones – hers included memorizing the alphabet and writing her name and learning her phone number; her mom’s had more to do with parenting classes and a steady job. And after some time it became apparent that they would reunite.
They moved a lot – never could quite achieve the stability that most people crave. She lived with her mom some, as well as a variety of extended relatives. She called her old foster family every once in a while – she had never forgotten the phone number – and every single time they inquired about her new address and made a trip to the post office, sending off a box filled with goodies.
Art supplies. Candy. Books. But most of all, love.
They were intentional in their influence. They didn’t just answer the phone and have a conversation – they acted. Even though it was painful. Even though they worried about the fact that every call was from a new phone number in a new state. Even though it took thought to adjust the contents of each box to match her age and interests. Even though there was a physical and an emotional cost associated.
To have world-changing influence, we must be intentional. We must be fully aware of the potential of our decisions, even when they seem insignificant, and we must choose to be intentional rather than careless.
So how did it turn out? One day the phone rang at the old foster family’s home. “Mom, can I come home?” It was her 18th birthday. You can guess what the answer was.
Will you choose to be intentional with the decisions you make?