Ricochet is, “the motion of an object or a projectile in rebounding or deflecting one or more times from the surface over which it is passing or against which it hits a glancing blow.” We use it a lot in terms of firearms or, for instance, the bouncing of a racquetball off a wall during a match. However, let me suggest your life is creating a series of ricochets–good and bad.
We are given the opportunity to cultivate lives of true impact by following Jesus and leading others to follow Jesus. Every step of the way, as we do so, we create a holy ricochet effect–the encounter of life with others’ creating more encounters with others. This may be the most amazing part of ministry: to see how one life impacts so many others. When God changes someone, he changes others as well.
Last night I had a “last supper” with a man I helped lead to Christ. He moved away this morning, and while I’m sad to lose the proximity of his friendship, he is already finding opportunity to share Christ with others…old friends…people that have known him for years as his former self. This would have been unthinkable only months ago. But, Christ has taken hold of Him, and the impact of that is going to resound through his family, his workplace, and beyond.
Ricochet. The good kind. You may not know how or where or when…but know it will happen. We must never underestimate the power of a single, changed life. Every life impacts many others. Some of us will play a part in changing many lives at a time through more “public” ministries. Others of us will impact the lives of a mother, a coworker, friend or those involved in a ministry at our church. Impacting them will fill our souls to brim–rightfully so. But, it should also fill us to the brim to know that one soul is only the beginning of a fire that will burn, hopefully, through their sphere of influence for a lifetime.
Jesus didn’t just change Peter. He changed thousands of others when he changed Peter. He didn’t just impact the woman at the well. When Jesus changed her, the message spread through her entire village. It’s ricochet. When God is moving in a church, one church can change a city. The same can be said of a person.
My favorite Christmas movie is, It’s a Wonderful Life. Most of you have probably seen it. If not, repent! At one point, Clarence (the guardian angel) says to George Bailey (who has tried to take his own life), “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Think about how mightily God can use your life–and think of the lives he can bless through it. He’s already working through your life in all sorts of ways you can’t see. On our dark days, when we feel like our life or ministry isn’t making any difference, let’s choose to know better. Let’s believe in the power of God to use us to impact others–and use others to impact others…who will impact others for Jesus.
It’s holy ricochet…and its good.