Albert Schweitzer had a more “impressive” life than I ever will.
He was a writer and influential theologian; he was an amazing and accomplished organ player; and he became a medical missionary and doctor to French Equatorial Africa. He was also awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
A biography by James Bentley reveals a man who had many talents and passions, but who, as time went on, became more and more focused on becoming an authentic disciple of Jesus in the best way he knew how.
He said it like this in a letter to music critic Gustav von Lüpke: “I want to be a simple human being, to do something small in the spirit of Jesus.”
I think that’s amazing and powerful.
For all of us.
Schweitzer had done phenomenal things. Things that astound people and make it into history books. But he knew that much of it was insignificant and temporary.
Too often we get wrapped up in what the people around us will think of us, or what kind of mark we may (or may not) leave on the world. But there’s an imprisonment to that kind of thinking. It shackles you to standards and expectations that will one day crumble away. 1 John 2:17 comes to mind: “the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever” (NRS).
When we focus on doing something pure and sincere in the spirit of Jesus, he takes it and does something more beautiful and enduring than we could ever do on our own.
Something that lasts.
In Christ there is freedom. There is eternity. There is purpose beyond the narrow parameters of this life and death. So be free from the deception of Bigger-Better-More.
“I want to be a simple human being, to do something small in the spirit of Jesus.”
By Matthew Ruttan
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