“ I am Shutruk Nahunte, King of Anshan and Susa, Sovereign of the Land of Elan. By the command of Inshushinak, I destroyed Sippar, took the Stele (pronounced STEEL) of Hiran-Sin, and brought it back to Elan, where I erected it as an offering to my God Inshushinak.” Shutruk Nahunte 1158 BC
So begins one of my favorite top 10 films…” The Emperors Club.” A writer named Ethan Canin, wrote a wonderful book called, “The Palace Thief.” it relates the tale of a history teacher at an exclusive boarding school who reflects on the vicissitudes of a lifetime connection with a student scoundrel. A remarkable achievement by one of America’s finest writers, this brilliant volume reveals the moments of insight that illuminate everyday lives.
After reading aloud the statement above, the Professor, Mr. Hundert played brilliantly by Kevin Kline, makes one of the most profound statements of the entire movie,
“Shutruk-Nahunte, behold…his name cannot be found in any history book! WHY? Because great ambition and great conquest, WITHOUT CONTRIBUTION, is without SIGNIFICANCE!”
He then asks his class, “What will YOUR contribution be? HOW will history remember you?”
I write a lot of books about small, insignificant characters doing things that change their worlds.
In “The Silk Road”, it’s two caterpillars.
In “Crossing The Field” it is about two mice.
In “A Small Fish is Only As Small As He Thinks” it is about Kelly the Krill.
It is ALWAYS the little unknown people who changed history. Think of Jesus feeding the five thousand…and you find an unnamed, unknown boy who gave his lunch of fish and loaves just to help Jesus and we remember him today.
Mary was a woman, probably abandoned by a man…who turned to the only thing she could do in order to eat…prostitution. But after being forgiven, she crawled back on her hands and knees and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her own hair. We remember her today.
An unnamed leper, who was the only one out of ten who; instead of showing himself to the priests, realized, if he didn’t go back and find Jesus and thank him, he would probably never see him for the rest of his life. Somehow, his return to thank was so significant…that Jesus was moved. We still hear about that man today.
The world changes, not due to GREAT LIFE work, our BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERIES or our GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Rather, it is changed by the unknown, insignificant people who somehow cross paths with this man named Jesus. After meeting Him, they want to give back…they want to make a contribution to him for what He did for them.
There is nothing we can do directly for Jesus. He doesn’t need anything. But He DOES point us to His children and says, “Whatsoever you do, to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me.”
He tells us, the best way to serve Him, is to SERVE THOSE WHO CANNOT PAY US BACK. To love them, to lay down our lives for them. It is those who are not looking for notoriety or fame whom God causes to become immortal in the halls of Glory.
I don’t know that anything I have written over the course of ten years will EVER be remembered.
For one thing, due to the very fact that I publicly wrote about the chance encounters, the events with other people…I have had my reward for those. Jesus says when we do something HIDDEN…THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT…THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT WILL BE REWARDED.
Contribution in the Kingdom has much to with ANONYMITY OF INTENTION and ANONYMITY OF REPUTATION. God wants what we do for others in HIS name to be done out of facelessness and out of a desire for no one to know our names!
I regret, that much of what I have written concerning my daily exploits in life have been made public. I will not receive a reward for those…I have received it already. For anyone who has mistaken my making known the encounters with people in my stories as a form of boasting, I sincerely apologize.
I have sought to use them as a primer…to help others to move out in Jesus’ name. But maybe I have been mistaken.
The greatest of all in the Kingdom is the one who is the servant of all. The one who washes the feet, and hangs up the cloak of others. They are the ones who are not public, hidden in fellowship hall, cooking spaghetti for church dinners, the one who arrives early in day, before anyone is present, to straighten the chairs, clean the bathrooms and staple the church newsletters.
The most important among us in the body of Christ, will be the little fingers and toes, the earlobes…the hidden inner organs that no one saw, but contributed to the outer beauty of the eyes, face, body and other visible “attractive” members. In fact, I believe THESE will be the closest to the throne.
My mother was one of these. She worked behind the scenes. She would often say to me, because I was a missionary, “I am going to be your wash woman in heaven!”.
No mom…you have that backwards. We who have been visible to others will be cleaning your mansion.
Today, make a significant contribution by loving and serving others without pay and without praise. Do it in secret. Great ambition and great conquest, WITHOUT CONTRIBUTION, is without SIGNIFICANCE!” But, humble ambition with great humility done in secret, is a CONTRIBUTION WITH GREAT SIGNIFICANCE.