A Life of Significance

Continuing in this short LEGACY series, let’s look today at a life of significance.  One of my favorite movies is Moneyball which got good ratings—a 94% from Rotten Tomatoes–but even that doesn’t reflect all the great messages and sermon illustrations one can get from it that speak spiritually and theologically. There’s a quote from Billy Beane in response to his assistant Peter Brand who is trying to be an encourager, insisting that they just won the record and to focus on how they’d just won big league!

Billy Beane: Listen, man. I’ve been in this game a long time. I’m not in it for a record, I’ll tell you that. I’m not in it for a ring. That’s when people get hurt. If we don’t win the last game of the series, they’ll dismiss us. I know these guys, I know the way think, and they will erase us. And everything we’ve done here, none of it will matter. Any other team wins the World Series, good for them. They’re drinking champagne, they’ll get a ring. But if we win, on our budget with this team, we’ll change the game. And that’s what I want, I want it to mean something.

To mean something. A life of significance is not the same as a life of fame or records.

What do you want? Fame. Records. Legacy-building.


Ultimately what I want is to know that my life had significance, that it meant something.

That someday (when I meet Jesus face-to-face) to know I won’t show up with empty hands and empty pockets and have nothing to show, no fruit to my credit (John 15:16). That I used a lot of oxygen and water in my time on earth and expended a lot of energy, but my legacy would still be judged by God as one of little significance…that I would have been she of little faith (Matthew 6:19-34). That I really never approached all He’d hoped I’d do because I didn’t put forth the effort or exhibit the kind of faithfulness I could have. That in my shortsightedness and ignorance, I’d waited for Him to go the direction I wanted instead of my going His way.

Ironically, that’s why fame is so appealing. It’s tangible reward for the work done. You can see it, touch it, and know it. And you don’t need faith (ouch) to know that you’re making an impact. And for famous theologians, pastors, or Bible teachers, you don’t really need to doubt that there’s probably fruit somewhere out there.

Andy Warhol’s line introduced last time has this interesting history:

In February 1968 Warhol exhibited his first international retrospective exhibition at the Moderna Museet gallery in Stockholm. The exhibition catalogue contained “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” It is far and away the best-known of the many quotations attributed to Warhol, in fact it is probably the only comment of his that most people know.

The line began to bore Warhol in later years when interviewers kept asking him about it. In 1979 he did repeat it though, claiming that the line had truth – “my prediction from the sixties finally came true: In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.”

As things have turned out the rise of celebrity culture and reality television in the Western world since then has shown Warhol to be quite prophetic.

Social media only makes matters worse with everyone engaging in selfie-ism in hopes of going viral. Click, Like, Comment, Share. Make your selfie go around the world and be like Jim Benton’s Happy Bunny: “It’s all about me; deal with it.”  Fifteen minutes of fame? What for?

I’m not in it for that. I want my life to mean something to Jesus, so I take it seriously:

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples…You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit– fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:8, 16-17)

What about you? What do you want out of this life?  Significance or something less?


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 8, 2017

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