Babe Ruth once said: “Most of the people who have really counted in my life were not famous. Nobody ever heard of them, except those who knew and loved them. I knew an old minister once. His hair was white, his face shone. I have written my name on thousands of baseballs in my life. The old minister wrote his name on just a few simple hearts. How I envy him! I am listed as a famous homerunner, yet beside that obscure minister, who was so good and so wise, I never got to first base.”
Ruth rightly valued the impact of his friend’s influence as more important than money or applause. He saw the old minister’s example being followed by others and knew that was a more lasting tribute than being in man’s Hall of Fame.
Influence at its greatest flows from the unexpected. Jesus said: “…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Those weren’t just words. Peter would later write of Him: “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again” (I Peter 2:23).
Most of us are influenced by people whose lives reflect this admonition. People who stand out from the crowd. Even the religious crowd. Dedication and Christian discipline make them different. And they don’t have to announce it. Like Ruth’s friend, they write their names on the hearts of others. They are lights in a dark world.
Let your light shine. Many are walking in darkness!