Significance is a desire within us, a birthright.
We each long to matter, to be extraordinary, to be outstanding, to be a unique contribution.
We do not want to be ordinary.
To be “ordinary” is to be “just another one of those.”
Nobody wants more of the same.
This is what draws us to Starbucks instead of McDonalds.
I want this latte, made this way, with this name on it.
Nobody wants to be more of the same.
Just another person.
Just another man.
Just another woman.
Just another teacher.
Just another mom.
Just another writer.
Just another widow.
Just another wife.
Nobody wants to be “just another.”
But consider the power of “This.”
I have discovered great power in this one word.
I am this woman.
I am this teacher.
I am this mom.
I am this writer.
I am this wife.
I am this daughter.
That is the power of This.
I am this person, who lives in this house, with this family, on this day.
I am this woman, with this body, with these measurements, and this curly hair.
I am this person sitting in this plane on this airplane.
I am this teacher of these students in this classroom, at this school, on this year in history, for this season of their childhood.
I am this mom. I am this mom to this family, but further, I am this mom to this child.
I am this mom to Tucker.
I am this mom to Tyler.
Physically, I am the same mom to both of them.
But relationally, I have a different something with each of them.
The differences are subtle and profound.
I am this daughter to my parents, but I am a different daughter to each of them.
I have a different relationship with each of my parents.
I am this daughter to my mom.
I am this daughter to my dad.
I am this writer, of these words on this page, in this voice to this audience.
I have this message and this story.
I want my words to make this impact, that when you read my work, you will remember reading this book at this season in your life.
I am this reader, who reads this page in this way.
If you read a book after me, you will see a different book than any other, for I will have underlined what spoke to me on this reading of this book. Another reading? Other underlines.
I am this reader of this book, at this time.
I am this wife. And I say that with the fact that I have been more than one wife. With two marriages as part of my story, I believe Robb and Peter did not marry the same woman. They do not share the same wife. I have been this wife, to this man. Each time. The differences are subtle and also profound.
That is the power of This.
This is not ego.
I am learning that ego is a reaction to anxiety, a fear of meaninglessness and obscurity.
Ego is fear-based.
Significance is confidence-based.
The Power of This is the drive to significance, and Dallas Willard says this drive is an extension of the creative impulse given to us by the God that gave us being. He says he call to significance is similar to “our lunge to catch a package falling from someone’s hand. It is outwardly directed to the good to be done.”
When I am focused on me, the resources are limited.
When I am focused outside myself, the exponential potential is innumerable.
I set boundaries because I want to make this choice with this impact,
with this use of my time and my influence.
I am not pushing others out; I am drawing a circle around This.
And so I am asking this:
How will this moment
on this day
in this person’s life
because they had this encounter
in this lifetime
with this version of me?
This has the power to change everything.
The power of This.