Beverly Hills 90210 was the TV show when I was in my early 20’s. The hairstyles, the romance, the drama. It was beyond easy to stay hooked in and watch the train frequently head off the tracks. So, when I learned this week that Luke Perry, who played one of the main heartthrobs, Dylan McKay, died after a stroke, I nearly shed a tear. What struck me most is that he was only a year old than I am. Far to young to be dying. This death, coinciding with an awareness that others my age are more frequently having serious health issues, made me stop and think.
Maybe it’s also my age, the tipping point where it’s not uncommon to start taking a deeper look at life. I don’t hide the fact that I think, and think and think, about life. I show up each day and do a job, I have relationships, but there’s an intangible element that I long for. A common thread shared by people of all ages, not just this midlife season I find myself in.
I desire to make a difference.
And not at a surface level. I have a longing to impact lives, people’s hearts. To spark lasting change in someone’s life so that they feel loved, believe that they matter. Believe they are loved by God. Each and every one of us is loved by God, and each and every one of us matters.
Why is it that it takes death, or illness, or tragedy to remind those of us who are well to take a deeper look? It’s easy to fall into our ruts and live out our lives stuck in the day to day. Not only can we make a difference in other people’s lives, but we can also make one in our own. The patterns we fall into are comfortable, easy, but can lead to falling asleep to our lives. To the bigger purpose we’re here for. To the great, BIG life that’s right in front of us.
So what to do about that? How to make a difference now? Get uncomfortable. Step out of your comfort zone. Be kind to the people around you, even when you don’t want to. Skip complaining and focus on gratitude. Do something BOLD, BRAVE that comes from living your authentic life. We only have one, and it matters. You matter. Whoever you are and whatever your circumstance, you matter. To the people around you and to God. Every single one of you.