What do you know about Alfred Nobel? During the mid-1800s Alfred Nobel was a boomologist*. He is widely believed to have been the man responsible for creating TNT and he invented technologies with significant military application. He was a wealthy, scientific man with a good reputation and an engaging career. And above all, he was a man of peace. In fact, Alfred's core belief about dynamite was that it would “create peace faster than [our] congress.” He believed that if both armies could annihilate each other instantly (through the use of massive explosives), armies and militaries would become obsolete.
One morning he read something that few people ever have the opportunity to read: he read his own obituary. You see, his brother had passed away, but French news outlets (apparently news outlets struggled for reliability even in the late 1800’s!) reported that it was Alfred that had passed away. The obituary was fairly customary but it described Alfred with these words: “[he was the] Merchant of Death.”
Those words haunted him. Would that really be his legacy? Would all of his research and development end with his life being known for the number of lives he had been responsible for taking?
Determined to created a different story, Alfred became an even greater peace activist. He dedicated his resources (time and money) to peacetime activities and his voice carried some weight. You may not know much about Alfred Nobel and his work from the 1800s, but I’m sure you’ve heard about him. After all, the Nobel Peace prize was named after him.
If you woke up tomorrow and read your obituary, what would you be remembered for?
Would your kids call you a “Loving Father?” Would your husband say you were a “Gracious Wife?” Would you be remembered as a “Gospel-centric Preacher?” Would your neighbors refer to you as a “Loving and Caring Soul?” Would your co-workers think of you as a “Hard-working, but Gentle Person?” Would your parents fondly recall you as an “Obedient and Godly Daughter?” Would your friends reflect on you as a, “Generous and Compassionate Individual?”
How would people describe your life? What would your obituary say about you?
As you enter 2014, I challenge you to think about the future, and to think about what your life will be marked by. It doesn’t matter what 2013 says about you, or what your life to this point has amounted to. What matters is the choices you will make now, in 2014. You can amend for past choices, and you can correct mistakes; you can keep the momentum you’ve already generated or you can wallow in self-pity and victimhood. 2014 is another year that God has graciously granted you, and it’s another year for you to start with a mindset to choose something new, better and different.
What will you be remembered for? Let 2014 be a year that represents the future you want to create with God’s help.
Go ahead and take the plunge…2014 will be better out on the water!
This is part 1 of a 4-part blog about the New Year. My wife and I are tag-teaming to create these special blogs, so be sure to read part 2, tomorrow, at www.tracicast.wordpress.com. Part 3 will be back here on Thursday, and part 4 will be on her site on Friday.
*"Boom-ahhhh-L-ohhhhh-jist": Often used to describe those who excel in the use and creation of "things that go boom". The term boomologist has its roots in the sound heard after the lighting of said creations. Following the "Boom" there is an "ahhhhhh" (sometimes interpreted as "alllll" by those with less than 20/20 hearing) from the onlookers, immediately followed by an "ohhhhhhh" if said boom also distributes explosive and colorful sparkles or flames. However, the term "Boom-all-oh" was used derogatorily in the early-mid 2013s, so in 2014 the added "gist" at the end of the word created technical-sounding expertise, giving honor to those who have become proficient in such matters.