Leaving Your Mark

By Todd Roberts

Matthew 16:26-27

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Every year from June until November is hurricane season. This year the hurricane season has already been extreme for the Southern states of the United States. It reminds me of one of the first hurricane seasons I ever experienced with my family after only being in Tampa for a couple of years. That year four storms lined up in the Caribbean, one behind the other. They were just lingering and waiting to leave their mark on islands, cities, and people’s lives.

 Many years ago, I traveled as a conference, church, stadium and special event speaker. [That might sound big time, but it wasn’t. However, I did have fun the 16 years that I traveled.] Over the years, I gained many memories and stories. Most not quite as crazy as my first hurricane season in Tampa though!

While traveling I met many singers and songwriters who each had their own gift, genre, and style. One group I met was a young husband and wife team, “Sons and Daughters.” They were incredible! Their music was beyond good, and the lyrics…second to none. I loved this couple and looked forward to each time we had the chance to work together. They left their mark on me with their song lyrics and harmonies.

Just recently as I watched the news play out the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in Houston Texas, I was reminded of a summer in the 1990’s. I was scheduled to speak at a student conference in Houston, TX. During that conference, Houston had the worst flooding in history. In fact, it was the first time I ever saw a car floating down the street. Not just floating down a street, but floating down the interstate.  I can’t even imagine the damage that Harvey did and certainly not sure if it compared to the flood I experienced. 

The days following that flood in the 90’s, I saw damage and destruction like I had never seen before. A pastor friend drove me around the city to check out the damage - It was unbelievable! It is shattering and catastrophic what water can do. Something the Pastor pointed out to me as we drove around was the watermark left behind on all the buildings. There was a clear mark on every building. There was no debate how far the water rose. It was evident; the water had left its mark!

As months moved on and I continued my scheduled speaking engagements, I was scheduled to speak at a conference in the panhandle of Florida. I asked the host who was doing the music? He said, “Watermark.” At first I didn’t know who that was, but quickly found out that my friends from “Sons and Daughters” had changed their name to “Watermark” because of the impact the watermarks in Houston had made on them.

Isn’t it true that we should leave a mark on others? Not in a devastating way but in a godly way. It should be clear that we as believers and followers of Christ have left our mark, and that those we encounter should never be the same. I try to live my life in such a way that the stereotypes of a pastor don’t hang around my neck, however if they found out they wouldn’t be surprised. I am hopeful that every mark that I leave always points to Jesus Christ. What does your mark look like on the people who come across your path?

Make your mark count every day!