Today, I am in Washington D.C sitting at a desk in my hotel room that just so happens to have a view of the Washington Monument. From the 6th floor, I can see only the top half of the monument. The bottom is obscured by large, columned buildings, but even just the top of the tallest obelisk in the world is mesmerizing.
The first night that I was here in D.C. the monument was lit up in celebration of the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon. They actually showed the video footage of the rocket launch projected onto the length of the monument. What an amazing site—so I am told. That evening I was attending a women’s leaders meeting in the presidential ballroom downstairs, and missed the whole thing. So close! What a sight that must have been.
The nation’s capital is an inspiring place to be. I love coming here. All of the history and defining moments that have transpired through the years, affecting generations to come, are astounding. I am convinced that there are certain places that pull things out of us for better or for worse. This is why it matters so much the places that you go—yes physically, but also in your soul.
I have monuments in my own life that serve as places I go back to, and think about. I preserve the inspiring ones, drawing fresh inspiration for new seasons of life, and continually work to eradicate the ones that would deter me from my future. The people that I know who inspire me all seem to know very well this life-long work of sweeping out your thought life by removing monuments that don’t need to be remembered.
What you think about the longest becomes the strongest—sort of like a monument.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
What I do want to stand as monuments in my mind are those things that are made of truth, and that are noble. These are things that are full of grace, and are life-giving. Have you ever noticed that they don’t build monuments to mark disappointments? Monuments are built only to mark sacrifice, advancement, or courage.
President George Washington probably didn’t have “a monument built 555 feet up into the sky in my name” written in his journal. Not to take anything away from his skill, intelligence, and military genius, but I do believe he simply and very deeply felt the call of destiny throughout his life, and answered it as best as he could at each new turn.
Our life achievements may not be so grandiose as to garner a monument in our honor someday, but I think there is something extremely valuable with eternal ramifications that we can all reach for. And if we achieve this goal, it probably won’t result in brick, stone, and a bronze plaque with our names on it, but it will affect one sheet of paper.
Yes, I am saying your life is worth spending just to affect even one sheet of paper.
To be used by God to change how someone else’s story is written. To change the words on the page—the turn that their life takes, and the outcome of what their days resolve to be. That the bottom line of our life would be that we let Jesus write the rest of that person’s story because He reached them through you and through me.
This kind of opportunity is right now in the hands of all of us, and I believe it is ours to take. This is the time. This is the call. This is a monument worth living for.