Sunday, September 28, 2008

the silent echo

My favorite quote from the the movie Gladiator has always been, "What you do in this life echoes in eternity". That line has stuck with me over the past 8 years. I have always liked the word echo and planned on using it someday as the name of something: ministry, youth group, leadership track, ...something. Within the last month or so, I have really started to try to define what echo exactly stands for; what it communicates; what it looks like. I didn't just want to have a cool name that only had a movie quote standing behind it - I wanted it to have an idea, a message.

Obviously (or not), the first thing that I started to work on was a logo (and yes, I tried to somehow include an oval or a swoosh). I probably went through about 8 or 9 different ideas (and lots of different fonts) before I found one that I think I want to settle with. Keep in mind, it's still early, so things might change.

If only you could see the evolution of this thing, and what I went through to come up with it. Anyway, once I had a base idea, I started to think about what the logo and the word echo communicates. Influence, character, ongoing, representation, confidence - those were just the first couple things that came to mind. I tried to kick into "acronym mode", but "h" is a really hard letter to come up with a word for - at least in this context. I still haven't nailed anything down yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to post it. So then I moved onto finding a good definition for echo. An echo is: a call to mind; to repeat or imitate; an imitative reproduction (that one just sounds cool); reflect. It's basically a reflection or copy of a sound - a product that is created because of the influence of a source, that carries the same characteristics of the original influence.

The most obvious spiritual application is that Jesus Christ (the inlfuence) came from the Father (the source), as an example, to teach us how to live a godly life. The goal of our lives as Christians is to be Christ-like, or to be echoes of Christ - imitative reproductions. Epehsians 5:1-2 says that we are to "Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ." or in another version, "Be imitators of God..." So basically, we should be echoing Jesus through everything that we do. Sounds cool, right?

Yes, but I want to take it a step further. Not only should we be echoes of Christ in this world, but I believe we should also be creating echoes of our own - echoes that will influence those around us. We need to leave an influence on the world that will outlive us. Titus 2:7 says, "And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching." The Apostle Paul is telling us that we should be setting an example by the lives that we live, and those examples need to reflect what we say we believe. As one influential person once put it, we need to turn our theology into our biography. Not only are we being examples of the Savior that we serve, but we are also passing on that example to the world around us. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul also says, "Follow me as I follow Christ." He is not just following the example of Another, but he is calling others to follow that example as well.

So we need to reflect Christ in our lives, and set that example before others for them to follow as well. But there is still one more thing that needs to be clarified. Primarily echoes are repeats of a sound that is made; in other words, they are something that you can actually hear. If you recall, Titus 2:7 tells us to be an example by doing good deeds, not by talking about them or telling others to be an example. If actions speak louder than words, then I believe our lives send out a message that is much louder than anything we could ever say. The message that our life communicates, that doesn't come from our words, is what creates our real echo...a silent echo. The questions we all need to ask ourselves are, "What is my life really saying?" and "Is it worth echoing?"

So finally I come to the end of all of this, which is actually the beginning of something new. If you will notice, the address for this blog is Silent echo for the unheard message of our lives, and 27 for Titus 2:7. So there it is - what God has been saying to me lately, and I think where He is taking me...I'm just not sure exactly what it's going to look like.

All of us have a silent echo, what is your's saying?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember being there when you saw Gladiator the first time. Hoboken, NJ. That was a great trip. Those memories still echo in my mind. :)