I recently read a post that talked about fame. In it were these two quotes: “The human soul isn’t made for fame,” and “I’ve never met a famous person who wouldn’t be a better version of themselves if they weren’t famous.”
So why do so many people strive for fame?
As I write this today, my 94-year-old father-in-law lies dying in a hospital bed in Minnesota. He’s a quiet, reserved man with a huge heart full of love and faith. There’s never been any fanfare or fame to his life. Apparently, there never will be. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t famous.
Dad was the original inventor of the snowblower. He never got the patent, so never got the fame or fortune. But we have the pictures to prove it. Still, that isn’t what makes him famous in the eyes of those who love him.
Just a few days ago, when Dad was still able to communicate his wishes, he gave consent to let other residents in his assisted living facility come and visit him in his last days. There has been a steady stream of wrinkled faces coming in and out ever since. These old souls sit by his bed, reminisce with him, and maybe even share a prayer. They all leave saying that they’ve never know anyone like Glen Carlblom. Even staff members who aren’t assigned to care for him make a point to come in to check up on him, just because he’s such a special man.
What made Dad so famous? Why has he had so many visitors? Why did his life have so much impact on those around him? I believe it boils down to a few short sentences. He loved fiercely. He maintained steadfast faith. He always put others before himself, and did so with quiet joy. He used his life as an instrument to point everyone in his path to God. Dad never tried to be famous or to grab hold of praise that always rightfully belongs to the Creator. He gladly relinquished it to bring glory to His Father. It was an extravagant, beautiful thing to behold. And he did it for 94 years. He’s still doing it as he dies. No complaints, only thank yous and heartfelt gratitude to those caring for him.
That’s true, lasting fame.
We all have a circle of influence in which to build a certain legacy, or fame, if you will. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. Make it count. Because you will be remembered by that circle after you die. Now’s the time, while you’re living, to create the kind of legacy by which you want to be remembered. It’s built every day by every decision made, every conversation held, every reaction to every situation. What kind of legacy are you building? Is it the kind of fame you want to follow you? It’s not too late to change course.
When it’s my time to go, I want to be famous like Dad Carlblom.