Friday, March 12, 2010

One of our greatest talents - Influence

“...your most important talent – your influence.” I read and then I thought. I tried to think of all the talents that are important, speech, music, writing, reading, art, time etc.. Yes, time is a wonderful talent and besides time, I couldn't think of any other more important talent then the talent of influence. Every single person has it and I believe it is one of the most important. The deaf may not be able to hear, the dumb may not be able to speak, the lame may not be able to walk but they all have an influence.

Here is a quote I came across.

“Children are more influenced by sermons you act than by sermons you preach.” - David McKay

So true and I believe it goes for everyone. The way we act, the way we speak, the way we handle situations make a bigger impression than anything else.

I read a book not to long ago entitled “Taught By a Tiger” by Norma R. Youngberg. It was about some missionaries to the village of Pahit meaning “Bitter” in mountains of central Sumatra. Some of people wanted the missionaries, others did not. Those that didn't tried those missionaries to the utmost! When the missionaries planted a garden with many different kinds of vegetables and the villagers one day tilled it all up and planted mustard greens instead. When the plants grew and the missionaries came to see their garden they didn't find the things they planted but found a bunch of mustard greens. As much of a disappointment as that was, they didn't get angry, instead they just laughed. Another time, the missionary wife/mother, Mama-Joe as they called her washed the clothes and hung them on the clothesline to dry and the next thing they knew someone had the cut the line and all her freshly laundered clothes were in the dirt. She just cheerfully took them to the river and washed them again as she sang


Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!

Another time, Nee-pah, the one who was most adamant against them coming, who was most likely the instigator of all these things had an awful sore on his foot. Since he couldn't get it better, he decided to go the missionaries to have them help it. Well, more likely than not, because of all the previous efforts to make the missionaries angry had failed he wanted to try again. This time, Mama-Joe was rolling out dough for cookies when he just rudely(even in that culture) walked in the door and set his dirty sore covered foot on her dough. Oh, how awful the Mama-Joe must have felt!! But instead of getting angry she just said “Oh, I'm so sorry! Your poor foot! Does it hurt a lot?” and she got the things necessary to help his foot and told him to come back the next day for another treatment.

When all these failed to bring a bad reaction, Nee-pah resorted to poisoning the missionaries children. Mama-Joe told the orphan boy who was staying with them and helping them that he and the chiefs son could have some of the 'cakes' (Nee-pah had poisoned them but not known to the missionaries). So they eat them and then right away they got deathly sick but the missionaries were able to flush their stomachs and after days of much prayer and care they were well again. Oh! Surely the little children would have died if they had eaten them. By this time, the man had fled the village. In the time he was in the jungle a tiger wounded him just as he dove into a small cave which the tiger could not get into. There he was trapped for days for the tiger would not leave the entrance. He had no food and no water so he became very sick and on close to death. He remembered what the missionaries had said about God and the songs that they had sung. Finally then and there he called on God and believed in Him. He managed to get to the entrance of the cave and yell out “Help, Help” while the tiger was a way and then he crawled back in as the tiger came back. He lapsed into unconsciousness. The two boys who had eaten the poisoned cakes had gone into jungle where the missionaries 'servant' boy had taught the Chiefs son how to pray. They heard the cry for help and told the villagers. They went to the rescue and found him. They brought him to the missionaries house and they cared for him. They cared for him and loved him who had done so much and almost killed their children.

The point that I wanted to bring out in the story was the influence that the missionaries had on the village. Their utmost patience, their love, their kindness and actions had a profound influence for good. The villagers saw it, they wanted it. They saw the power of the real true God rather than the spirits and the gods they had served and they gave their hearts to the God of heaven.

Influence is a talent, and it is a power for good when the sacred fire of God's kindling is brought into our service. The influence of a holy life is felt at home and abroad. The practical benevolence, the self-denial and self-sacrifice, which mark the life of a man, have an influence for good upon those with whom he associates... - Ellen White

I pray that we will always remember that we have an influence and that we will use it for good. Keep looking up and pressing forward! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, thanks Lyssie for posting this! It really impressed me, and by God's grace at the start of a new day tomorrow, He'll help me to have a good influence at home. Like Mama-Joe and you. It's given me something to really ponder and pray about!

    Love you so much!
    Christella

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